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ol. 93. N 

Category "11" 
I re d in Australia for transmission /<> post ai a periodical 



At National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, 8 p.m. 
Monday, 9 February — 

Speaker— Mr. M. D. Gottsch. 

Subject— "Red Wilderness/' Ecological Study of N.W. Mallee. 
Wednesday, 1 March — 

Speaker — Dr. T. H. Rich. 

Subject —"New News about Old Bones." 

Monday, 12 April — 

Speaker — Miss M. Doery. 

Subject— "A Naturalist's Journey." Darwin to Perth. 

New Members — 

Mr. Peter J. Bascomb, 51 Park Drive. Parkville 3052. Mammals and Birds 
Miss Linda Lumsden, 240 Drummond Street, Carlton 3053. Mammal Survey Entomology. 

Mr. and Mrs. M. Doherty, Flat 10, IS Smith Street, Thornbury 3071 

Mr William J. MeNeice and Mrs. Beatrice A. MeNeice. 57 Brynor Crescent Glen 

Waverley 3150. Botany 
Mr. A. E. Richards, 6 Cityvievv Road, Balwyn North 3104. 


(At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, at 8 p.m.) 

First Wednesday in (he Month — 3 March, 7 April, 5 May — Geology Group. 

Third Wednesday in the Month— 18 February, 17 March, 21 April — Microscopical 

Second Thursday in (he Month— 12 February, 11 March, 8 April — Botany Group 
(At the Conlerence Room, The Museum, Melbourne, at 8 p.m.) 

First Monday in the Month — 1 March, 5 April, 3 May — Marine Biology and 
Entomology Group. 

Fourth Thursday in the Month — 26 February, 25 March, 22 April — Field Survey 
C.roiip (At the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Brown Street 
Heidelberg, at 8 p.m.) 

First Thursday in the Month — 5 February, 4 March, 1 April, 6 May— Mammal 
Survey Group. 


Sunday 15 February — Glen Nayook. The coach will leave Batman Avenue at 
9.30 a.m. Fare $4.00. Bring two meals. 

Saturday, 6 March — Monday, 8 March (Labour Day Weekend) - Bendigo Camp 
Out. This is the weekend when the Victorian Field Naturalist Clubs Association 
holds their annual gathering. This year Bendigo is the host club and they have 
arranged excursions ol general interest to birdos, botanists, geologists and 
zoologists in the Mandarang Forest -Mount Herbert range area with an alter- 
native excursion to the Barfold Columns on Sunday lor those desiring a more 
active day. Activities will start on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Sedgewick 
campsite, about 10 miles South o( Bendigo and will include an evening at the 
(Continued on page 35) 

2 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 




4 February, 1976 

Acting Editor 
Assistant Editor 

G. M. Ward 
G. F. Douglas 



Geology of the Sandringham- 
Beaumaris Coastline 

By G. B. Pritchard 

A new race of Trogonoptera 
brookiana Wallace from 
West Malaysia 

By Bernard D'Abrera, 

Victor Doggett, Norman Parker 21 

A Nest Constructed by Wild Pigs 
By J. Covacevich 

In Memo n am: 


The Origin of Generic Names of 
Victorian Flora 

By James A. Baines 




Field Naturalists Club of Victoria: 

Diary of Coming Events 2, 35 

Western Victorian F.N.C.A. Reports 32 

Front Cover: 

Graham Pizzey photographed the beautiful 
Little Egret. It may be seen near swamps 
or the edge of lakes, fairly generally 
along the eastern Australian area. 

It is now just ten years since I began as 
the new editor of the Victorian Naturalist. 
They have been ten memorable and enjoy- 
able years, during which I have come to 
know a great number of people both in 
town and country, and from varied walks of 

Many of these people have given me in- 
spiration and confidence during this time, 
and I shall always be conscious of the debt 
of gratitude which I owe. The loss of some 
firm friends has tinged those ten years with 
sadness also; but the memory of their effect 
on my work shall never fade. 

During my term as editor, the Naturalist 
has undergone some changes, and entered 
into some difficult times — but I think none 
so difficult as exists at present. The financial 
strain on non-profit publications is particu- 
larly severe; and in the case of our maga- 
zine, has caused the change from monthly to 
bi-monthly publication. This, I hope, will be 
only temporary: for we are within eight years 
of a century of monthly publication! 

May I recall the words of the last para- 
graph of my initial editorial in 1966 — 

"... I am optimistic that the publishing 
of the Naturalist in its present form, can 
and will be maintained by virtue of the large 
and keen membership which exists." 

My optimism in this regard has not 
diminished, and together with that state- 
ment I add my sincere thanks to every con- 
tributor over the years, and my sincere 
apologies to all to whom I have caused any 
inconvenience or hardship. 

My best wishes go to all members and 
readers, wherever they may be. 

G. M. Ward 

January /February 

Geology of the Sandringham- Beaumaris Coastline 

G. B. Pritchard 

Editor's Introduction by Thomas A. Darragh.* 

This article is the second chapter of 
G. B. Pritchard's manuscript and is 
entitled Old Port Phillip History as 
told by the Geology of Sandringham 
to Beaumaris. 

The first chapter on the geology of 
Royal Park appeared in Victorian 
Naturalist 91:223 and the reader is 
referred to it for background informa- 

The area described here is still one 
of the most popular areas of suburban 
Melbourne for the study of geology, 
as it was when Pritchard wrote his 
chapter (1947). Some of the photo- 
graphs date from the mid nineties of 
last century and others were taken in 
the early decades of this century. They 
are of considerable interest as his- 
torical records, since they demonstrate 
the destruction of the natural scenery 
which has taken place because of 
vandalism and official interference 
with the coastline since that time. Sea 
walls, roads, boat harbours, buildings, 
and foreshore filling have obscured 
many of the interesting features of 
this coastline. Many of these artificial 
features have lead to erosion of 
beaches and siltation in other areas. 

The fossils from Beaumaris illus- 
trated here are still frequently found 
and the illustrations will provide an 
accessible means of identification, 
though the editor stresses that the 
shark's teeth have recently been 
studied in some detail and the names 
may change when this modern re- 
vision is published. There are a num- 
ber of other fossils not mentioned 
which are rare and have been de- 

scribed recently. They are fossil birds 
(Dio media thyridata a fossil alba- 
tross; Pseudaptenodytes macraei and 
P. minor fossil penguins) and mar- 
supials. Fossil birds and marsupials of 
this age are of considerable rarity and 
Beaumaris is a unique locality of con- 
siderable scientific importance because 
of these occurrences. 

This article fills a gap in the popu- 
lar literature of the geology of greater 
Melbourne, however, if a more de- 
tailed scientific account is required the 
reader is referred to Kenley, 1967, 
Tertiary in Geology of the Melbourne 
District Bull. geol. Surv. Vict. 59. 

As in the previous article only 
minor corrections have been made to 
Pritchard's text in order to ensure 
clarity and accuracy of stratigraphic 


From the earliest times in the his- 
tory of our state fossils have been 
known to occur in the shore line rocks 
at the locality known variously as 
"near Mordialloc", or "near Moorab- 
bin", or "near Brighton", or as it is 
better known and more accurately 
placed at a later date as Beaumaris. 
The cliffs of Beaumaris are very rich 
in fossil remains and have been a 
very popular hunting ground for many 

Who has not heard of fossil shark's 
teeth from this locality? There is no 
manner of doubt that one of the chief 
attractions to a very large number of 

* National Museum of Victoria. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

M A P OV S>^a/?//VG HA IV} 

Rooky PatehVk 


Sca/e ^m-mv 



January /February 


to 9 3 

7 y 


school boys and others for this spot 
was the ease with which such remains 
could be gathered. Frequently com- 
petitions would run high in the en- 
deavour to be the one who could find 
the largest number of teeth in a day 
or an afternoon as the case might be. 
One old fossicker who used to be a 
very frequent visitor to this locality 
had a large Coleman's Mustard Box 
full to the brim of these relics. It used 
to be a favourite boast of my own that 
I never paid a visit to this locality 
without finding at least one tooth, but 
for many reasons the crop nowadays 
is not so great as in former times for 
one had only to wade along the shore- 
line at low tide to be rewarded with 
many specimens. Then by more care- 
ful search and investigation the actual 
bed from which all these specimens 
had been washed and distributed could 
be opened out and carefully examined, 
and making a rough calculation on 
several occasions it usually happened 
that at least one tooth would turn out 
from each square foot examined. Fre- 
quently however you would be re- 
warded by the discovery of several 
other different types of fish remains as 
well, such as the grinding teeth of the 
forerunner of the Port Jackson Shark 
and its spines, the jaws and palates of 
an ancient Porcupine fish, the plates 
from the palates of some ancient Rays 
and Skates, and the jaws of an old 
Rock Ling. 

The Beaumaris beds are chiefly a 
soft porous buff-coloured sandy marl 
not at all well adapted to the preser- 
vation of all types of fossil remains, 
for example notice the shells, which 
though very numerous along certain 
beds are usually of such a soft chalky 
consistency that it is almost impossible 
to get perfect specimens out, and 
when obtained unless great precau- 
tions are taken, they will not reach 
home safely; in some beds all the 

limey matter has been dissolved out 
and only casts and impressions of 
these relics are then obtainable. In this 
connection you will notice how the 
cliffs where they overhang just above 
high tide mark, are constantly drip- 
ping water, placing a billy under these 
drips you can soon collect a nice lot 
of clear cool water. This water on 
examination is found to be hard, or 
in other words that it contains in solu- 
tion quite a lot of mineral matter that 
it has dissolved out of the beds 
through which it has passed, chiefly 
limey matter from the shells. That 
this is really the character of this 
water just look at the sand, shingle, 
shells and other shoreline gatherings 
butting up against the foot of the cliffs 
and you will find that it has become 
veritably cemented into a hard rock 
even though it is of such recent origin. 
Hence while this type of action brings 
about destruction in one part of its 
course it immediately sets about bind- 
ing or strengthening loose incoherent 
materials into a strong compacted 
mass in another and closely adjoining 
part. Limey matter is not the only 
mineral that can be seen acting here 
in this way, iron as hydrated oxide is 
almost as active and in some places 
the rocks are often said to be hard as 
iron, where the sands have been 
cemented with this mineral. This is 
not a very correct statement perhaps, 
but remarkably expressive. Both of 
these minerals as well as acting as 
binding or cementing agents in the 
rocks, play tricks on us and make a 
number of peculiar shapes which are 
often gathered on account of their 
fancied resemblance to some familiar 
object such as seeds, fruits, mush- 
rooms, or wood. These objects are 
known under the general name of 
concretions or fairy stones and the 
accompanying plate illustrates some 
of the forms common to these shores. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fig. 1 

Some common 



Sandringham to Beaumaris 

This locality may be reached by 
electric train to Sandringham, thence 
the coast may be studied all the way 
to Beaumaris. As an alternative the 
electric train can be taken to Chelten- 
ham thence along Charman Road 
about one mile to the coast where the 
Beaumaris sections can be specially 

A very short walk from the Sand- 
ringham railway station along Melrose 
Street will enable one to reach the 
coast-line, and immediately coastal 
sections can be examined from several 
points of view. A sandy deposit vary- 
ing in the coarseness of its particles 
and showing evidence of irregular 

bedding, and irregularities in coloring 
and binding matter can be seen in the 
first section. A good contrast can be 
made out between atmospheric 
weathering and marine erosion, and 
the influence of irregularities in con- 
solidation due to the presence or ab- 
sence of cementing matter, in this 
case limonite or one of its varieties. 
The formation of a platform of 
marine denudation can be well seen 
at low tide, with its relatively recent 
protective incrustation of gregarious 
worm tubes of calcareous matter 
commonly mistaken for coral growth. 
The accumulation of a strip of sandy 
beach at the foot of the little cliffs, 
looking at first sight like a protective 
apron, but in reality being the 

January /February 

material that is battered by the sea- 
water against the ferruginous sand- 
stone to do the cutting or filing action 
which gives rise to the undermining 
and cave formation at high tide level. 
This sand is entirely locally derived 
being mainly composed of quart/ 
particles from the sandy beds with a 

lew fragments of ferruginous sand- 
stone and shelly particles. The forma- 
tion and breakdown of dill's on a 
small scale, the development of capes 
and bays, fiords, isthmuses and islands 
can be clearly illustrated. Some ol* the 
lower beds o\' this locality are fossili- 
ferous and these shell and other re- 
mains indicate, first, that the deposit 
was a marine one, second, that it was 
laid down under shore line conditions, 
and third that the fossil remains 
though comparable with living forms 
are for the most part extinct. The 
geological age cannot reasonably be 
expressed in years, but the remains 
belong to the Upper Miocene sub- 
division o\' CainOZOic time. Some o\' 
the sands o\' this shoreline are noted 
for their coarseness, long stretches oi 
quartz particles the size o\' small peas 
are worth looking at for they show 
Clearly enough that they are broken 
down fragments from small vein or 

leader quart/ and thus give a clue to 
their probable origin from the old 
bed-rock o( Melbourne. The forma- 
tion of shingle as well as sandy 
beaches can be seen in progress. 

The Red Bluff or as it is sometimes 
called the Yellow BlufT is one of the 
boldest cliffs of these parts with its 
110 feet above sea-level, running 
down to a hard jutting cape of fer- 
ruginous gritstones and sandstones 
with a very fine protective apron of 
large angular blocks of the same rock, 
the fall away o\ which has been 
materially assisted by the jointing 
which is quite a feature of these 
rocks at this spot. 

The softer and less cemented beds 
consisting oi' sands and grits with 
some clay which form the upper beds 
oi' this section show the influence of 
rain and atmospheric conditions in a 
very marked manner, and give the 
exact appearance o\' canyon and bad- 
land weathering. The numerous steep 
gullies washed out show the talus ac- 
cumulation at the foot and the build 
up of a considerable deposit oi' fans 
spreading out into a flat or plain 
development. Wind has been the 
cause here oi' considerable trouble as 
far as the road has been concerned. 

big. 2 

Red Bluff, 

from (he North 
with Half 
Moon Hay 
behind. Photo- 
graphed in the 
mid L890's. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fig 3 

( loser views of 
cliffs at Red 
Bluff. Photo- 
graphed in the 

for it has been constantly covered 
with considerable deposits of blown 
sand carried up by a regular funnel. 
Several attempts have been made to 
arrest this action such as shrub 
fences, paling fences and iron fences, 
but all of these have been badly 
beaten. Man as a geological agent is 
much in evidence at this point and 
considerable wear and tear around the 
cape is distinctly attributable to him. 
There is evidence of many marked 
changes at this locality in the last 
fifty years. The northerly face of a 
hundred odd feet has been ripped 
into a considerable depth and the crest 
of the cliff has receded by many feet. 
Much of the loosened material has 
been blown away but quite a quantity 

has accumulated at the foot of the 
face as a series of dry deltas. A con- 
siderable area of foreshore in this 
little bay was thus being reclaimed 
and for many years it had all the 
appearance of permanency yet in July 
1944 with strong northerly winds of 
gale force for two days, most oi 
the dry deltas have been cut back 
almost to the cliff face, however, they 
still show a nice section of the suc- 
cessive layers of the materials of 
which they were built. Then one may 
ask where has all this sand and clay 
gone? A general view from the head- 
land or point of the bluff will show 
that it has been levelled off and spread 
in such a manner as to widen the 
beach and shoal up the little bay to 


the north of this point. 

On the north side of this bluff there 
used to be visible a lenticular patch 
of fine grained greyish sandy lime- 
stone, a little above high tide mark, 
and this on close examination yielded 
a nice collection of rather well pre- 
served fossils, chiefly marine shells, 
giving further evidence of the Mio- 
cene age for these beds. Unfortun- 
ately this patch can no longer be 
reached as a mask of considerable 
thickness now covers it owing to the 
slipping of large masses of material 
from above. Recorded from near the 
base of this bluff is also some fossil 
wood, giving evidence of the near- 
ness of land and confirming the shal- 
low water origin or shore line con- 
ditions of this series of deposits. Con- 
ditions at present have removed a lot 
of the fallen material and very soon 
access may once more be had to this 
fossiliferous horizon. A little beyond 
this bluff and forming the northern 
end of Half-Moon Bay the shore plat- 
form is an excellent spot for the study 
of some aspects of concretionary for- 
mation, and around the point forming 
the souihern cap of Half-Moon Bay 
a shingle beach can be examined made 
up largely of ferruginous concretions 
variously modified by marine action 
and shore-line trundling. Many pecu- 
liar shapes can be collected here, some 
resembling seeds, fruits, mushrooms, 
branches and stems of wood, and 
the more imagination one has the 
greater the number of identifications. 
Some resemblances are certainly very 
striking and it is quite excusable for 
the uninitiated to regard these shapes 
as fossils while they are not attracted 
by the genuine specimens at all. Many 
a pleasant hour can be put in turning 
these things over and wondering on 
the peculiarities of their formation. 
(See Fig. 1.) Between these two hard 
ferruginous sandstone points lies that 
little sandy cove long known as Half- 

Moon Bay, a very favoured picnic 
and bathing locality; some of the 
earlier bathers at this spot used to 
deplore the fact that the sand was 
very dirty, without ever giving a 
thought to the reason for it. A little 
investigation shows quite a fair ac- 
cumulation of shell, charcoal and 
shingle pebbles, one flat piece and one 
more or less pointed piece for break- 
ing away the shells in such a way that 
the soft mollusc could be more easily 
extracted. This locality was evidently 
also favoured by the aboriginals of 
this district for they made of it a 
camping and feeding ground and left 
behind sufficient relics for us to in- 
terpret this little bit of early history. 
The sandy portion of this bay was a 
good natural home for various kinds 
of cockles, while the rocky points and 
reefs yielded an abundance of mus- 
sels and periwinkles. The aboriginal 
was quick to detect the haunts of 
these succulent molluscs and appre- 
ciate their value as a change of food. 

When one proceeds beyond Half- 
Moon Bay a rough strip of rocky 
shore line is encountered with prac- 
tically no sandy beach, but this bare 
rock shows clearly many points of 
additional interest, the formation and 
development of pot-holes being an 
outstanding feature, the marine 
erosion of cliffs, the atmospheric 
weathering of cliffs, the protecting in- 
fluence of vegetation. 

The rock here varies from a very 
hard dark coloured conglomerate and 
fine sandstones to much softer buff 
coloured sandstones and sands. The 
bedding is not very regular but current 
bedding is much in evidence, and 
coarse to fine sediments occur in rapid 
alternations. Notwithstanding the un- 
favourable appearance of these rocks 
for the preservation of fossils, many 
molluscan remains can be collected 
along this stretch of coast; they exist 
now only as casts and impressions, as 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

all the original calcareous matter has 
been carried away in solution. In ad- 
dition to large fragments of quartz 
which show clearly their breakdown 
from small veins there are fragments 
of sandstone and mudstone which 
compare so exactly with the Mel- 
bourne rocks that their origin from 
the breakdown and wear and tear of 
the Silurian leaves no room for any 
doubt whatever. Thus this bit of litho- 
logical evidence is helpful in deter- 
mining whence these marine Tertiary 

sediments have been derived, and the 
fossil or palaeontological evidence will 
tell when this happening took place in 
our past history. 

From here to Black Rock corner 
there is a very fine sandy beach with 
only an occasional outcrop of the 
harder ferruginous sandstones. As a 
rule bathers along this shore have a 
perfectly smooth sandy bottom with 
reef protection on the seaward side, 
but occasionally with a change in the 
set of the wind and current the sand 

Fig. 4 

South of Half 
Moon Bay 
looking South. 

South of Half 
Moon Bay 
looking East 
at the Cliff. 


Fig. 5 

View of 
near the Point, 
South of Half 
Moon Bay. 

may be heaped up shorewards or 
carried along further north and then 
a shingle or actual rock bottom is en- 
countered much to the discomfort of 
the regular or casual bather. Under 
favourable conditions this shingle will 
be worth examination for petrified 
whale bone, shark's teeth and other 
fossil relics of the past have turned 
up in this position. Behind the sand 
beach there are banks of sand and 
sandy clay clad with tea-tree shrubs, 
acacias, mesembrianths, currant 
bushes and a few straggly honey- 
suckles, the tea-tree showing a plaster- 
ing down on the slope as a distinctive 
influence of wind action and produc- 
ing an almost impenetrable tangle ex- 
cept for the well worn pathways which 
plentifully intersect it. At the foot of 
the slope in some places the sandy 
talus is held in position by the salt 
bushes which make their appearance 
and this when cut back by storms or 
tidal action resembles a higher level 
beach. Coarse running grasses also 
help to bind and give relative per- 
manency to this protecting foot. 

Now the question may be asked: 
how can marine erosion take place 
under such conditions? Obviously 
marine erosion is not making any 
headway where these accumulations 
are at present and they would have to 
be removed before a fresh attack 
could be made. In the near neigh- 
bourhood undermined cliffs and ver- 
tical cliffs can be seen and a study 
made of the balance between the 
marine horizontal and undermining 
action and the landslips due to satu- 
ration and the action of gravity in 
vertically straightening up the bluffs, 
followed by the eating back of rain 
and other atmospheric agents to pro- 
duce the more gradual ramp-like slope. 
It is thought by many who visit this 
locality that Black Rock refers to 
some of the dark coloured ferruginous 
sandstones of this coast, and when it 
is known that Mr. Ebden actually 
quarried stone from the shoreline for 
the construction of the very elaborate 
stables and that he called his place, 
Black Rock House, confirmation ap- 
pears to be lent to the idea. However, 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Mr. Ebden came from Ireland where 
his estate was known as Black Rock, 
and he merely called his new abode 
after his old. Stone was probably 
taken from the same place on the 
coast for the construction of Glen- 
more House in Bluff Road. This house 
was pulled down in 1911 and the stone 
used for road purposes by the muni- 
cipal authorises; extra interest at- 
taches to this as the stone showed 
worm tubes and Pholas borings with 
the dead valves still in position before 
it was broken up, indicating that the 
stone was got from low tide mark. 

Quiet Corner is a very good spot 
for examining present marine erosion 
but more particularly under rough or 
extremely stormy conditions. The 
undermining by the sand bearing sea 
can be seen on the sandy clays and its 
horizontal working into caves by suc- 
cessive falls from the top of the cut, 
assisted by or even produced by water 
soakage from above. The material 
which falls in acts as a temporary 
check to the horizontal intrusion of 
the sea until the harder portions only 
are left to form a slight shingle. One 
stormy Sunday, 21st March, 1911, 
was responsible for more change at 
this spot than had previously been 
noted by the oldest inhabitant, there 
being falls of several tons at the foot 
of the cliffs, and about half a dozen 
tea-trees on the beach gave further 
evidence of the extent of the encroach- 
ment. One grim old monument of the 
former extent of a projecting point or 
cape here can be seen in a little island 
or outlier which is quite detached at 
high tide though still accessible over 
a sandy floor at low tide. 

At about five chains from Quiet 
Corner the darker and more firmly 
cemented ferruginous sandstones again 
outcrop at the foot of the cliffs show- 
in? their irregular and more or less 
undulating surface and strong current- 
bedded structure. Black streaks, 

patches and low level platforms of 
hard sandstones show as the tide falls 
and some of these are fossiliferous 
while they show distinctly their resis- 
tance to the blind fury of many 
storms. This reach of shoreline shows 
distinctly some evidence of natural 
shoreline reclamation. At the next 
point beyond Quiet Corner there is a 
nice low platform sloping seawards, 
it is very dark in colour, rough and 
ragged, and on close inspection shows 
pot hole erosion in every stage of de- 
velopment and breakdown to the for- 
mation of open channels or courses 
to the sea. These conditions give rise 
to the formation of natural armchairs, 
pulpit rocks and such like features. 
There is also a marvellous concretion- 
ary layer to be seen in relief on the 
sea floor showing pipes, tubes and 
stems in the utmost abundance and 
obviously the source of the many in- 
teresting forms to be gathered from 
the shingle hereabouts. Fairly regular 
joints run seawards through the rocks 
of this floor, with occasional curved 
joints crossing them. The flat here is 
undergoing natural reclamation as 
shown by the bare rock at the water's 
edge, then rock with its irregularities 
of surface somewhat modified by ac- 
cumulations of shelly sand found to 
be supporting mesembryanths or pig- 
face, a few coarse grasses and other 
plants, then there is a narrow strip of 
fifteen feet or so of bare shelly sandy 
beach, then a fringe of wiry grass tus- 
socks on the old storm shingle, then 
a flat area of half an acre or there- 
abouts of reclaimed land held by 
banksias, currant bushes and tea-tree, 
of a growth to indicate permanency for 
a considerable period of time. 

A dip in the sandstone beds now 
becomes noticeable apparently due to 
slight rolls parallel to the coast, there 
is a slight dip inland and also sea- 
wards. Little bluffs again make their 
appearance as these compacted sand- 

January /February 


stones ascend above sea level. 

More attention should be paid to 
the very distinctly concretionary struc- 
ture to be seen on the large scale in 
some of these beds near Chipperfield's. 
The shore platform at low tide shows 
a large number of more or less circu- 
lar or elliptical curved beds and a 
splendid study in dome structures. 
These structures run from one to 
thirty feet in diameter, therefore some 
sections might show the appearance of 
a very definite dip or roll. It is quite 
certain that this explanation for some 
of the features to be noticed along 
this coast must be given full con- 
sideration before folding and crump- 
ling agencies are called in to our aid. 
Below the Beaumaris Hotel in the cliff 
face a similar structure in section may 
be examined; it has been taken by 
some as minor folding or contortion 
of the beds, but neither the immediate 
overlying or underlying beds are 
affected and that would seem to rule 
out folding. A suggestion may be put 
forward that gas of some sort, not 
necessarily steam, may have con- 
tributed somewhat to the formation of 
this structure. 

The underlying beds are excep- 
tionally rich in organic remains from 
whales downwards on the animal 

scale and it might be possible that the 
gases given off in the decay of the 
organic matter of these creatures may 
have been sufficient for such a pur- 
pose. In recent years we have had 
some remarkable shore strandings of 
schools of whales on the north coast 
of Tasmania as well as on South Aus- 
tralian shores where the conditions 
were hardly favourable for their 
preservation. There is no manner of 
doubt about the gaseous emanations 
from such an accumulation, but more 
notice is taken of the hard or bony 
remains of such creatures and very 
little attention is given to what is 
happening or likely to happen to the 
organic portions. Some such happen- 
ings as this very likely took place in 
our seas in the neighbourhood of 
where Beaumaris now stands judging 
by the very large number of whale 
remains that can now be found at 
that locality. [See below for a com- 
ment on this statement. Ed.] 

Near what is known as Lang's place 
there used to be notices along the 
shore running "The Beach in the 
vicinity of this notice is dangerous", 
also, "Caution. The foreshore in the 
vicinity of this notice is dangerous and 
unsafe." During recent years nothing 
has been heard of these quicksands. 

Fig. 6 

structures near 

— V ' — 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fie. 7 

Jome Coastal 



"**>- ^^ /p ocA r 

... ,^ 

near fo/f Moon Bay 

Coastal Profiles. 

Me Red Bluff, Sandnrfh 




Beyond Chipperf/eJds 

but in the early days many a hair- 
raising story centred around some of 
these patches. Along this shoreline 
sandbanks have been and are still 
forming on the shallow shelving rocky 
platform, the land in shore is rela- 
tively high sandy and very porous, this 
would act as a gathering ground for 
fresh water which would drain down 
towards the sea until no doubt some 

January /February 

of the sands of the shoreline become 
supersaturated and developed quick- 
sand patches. 

Just below Lang's there is another 
naturally reclaimed shoreline area, and 
a still larger one further on below 
Chipperfields these now form much 
favoured holiday resorts and picnic 

Along this shore fossils occur in 


patches and pockets in the reddish 
ferruginous sandstone and dark brown 
beds and are not generally distributed 
in layers. When a pocket is struck the 
impressions and casts of bivalve shells 
are in the utmost prolusion, the com- 
monest being examples of Placamen 
subroboratum and Mactra hamilto- 
nensis. Here is definite proof o\ marine 
conditions. Very coarse sediments can 
be noted along this shore also, angu- 
lar and subangular vein quartz frag- 
ments of about one quarter of an inch 
diameter, occasionally one and a hall 
to two and even lour inches diameter, 
as well as large fragments o\' the dark 
blue Silurian rock. It should be pretty 
evident that such coarse material did 
not travel far and the shoreline supply- 
ing this material must have been fairly 
close. The presence o( the remains oi 
driftwood may be taken as a further 
hint in this direction. At the fust bluff 
to the east o\ Chipperfields thick beds 
o\' close grained brown sandstones 
show excellent examples oi marine 
erosion in the form oi cliff under- 
mining, cave formation and cave 

The floor here being in softer sand- 
stones is ripped out in long shingle 
runnels by the rise and fall of the tide, 
there are also good examples of pot 
holes and the residual ridges running 
seawards. Honeycomb weathering is 
another feature o\' some of these 

Another point a little further on 
still shows a portion of vertical cliff 
bathed by the sea, but the softer beds 
above have been severely attacked by 
atmospheric agencies and cut back 
and the material carried away to quite 
a considerable extent. 

There are many cliff profiles along 
here that are exceptionally interesting 
in many ways showing the influence 
o\ different beds with different quali- 
ties against the atttck o\' marine and 
atmospheric agencies. 

From here along to Beaumaris there 
have been considerable falls of the cliff 
lace, the joints have opened out with 
water, and later large masses have 
slipped down and great blocks o( the 
more solid sandstones can be seen in 
all sorts oi positions. Most oi this 
shoreline is only accessible at extreme 

Fig. 8 

Bluff to the 
East of 
looking towards 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

low tide and although some scrambling 
about the cliffs and rocky faces can be 
indulged in it is not too safe and 
scarcely to be recommended. Several 
people have tried these simple looking 
cliffs, but have found much to their 
sorrow that satisfactory footholds can- 
not be expected on rotten and crumb- 
ling material. 


The Beaumaris section is that part 
of the coastal cliffs below the hotel 
and extending along towards Mentone 
as far as Charman Road. This is 
another locality where the indiscrimi- 
nate collecting of fossils leads to much 
trouble and argument. It is quite a 
common practice to pick up shark's 
teeth and casts and impressions of 
shells from amongst the shingle with- 
out a thought about the origin of the 
shingle or the beds represented. It so 
happens that a small patch of Bal- 
combian or Mornington beds [Bal- 
combe Clay] is just visible at low tide, 
where it has been subjected to much 
wear and tear. Most of this material, 
calcareous sandy clay, is very soft but 
it contains hard calcareous concretions 
and bands, and these harder parts can 
be trundled about the beach and 
mixed up with similar concretions 
from the overlying beds of the cliffs. 
The soft beds as well as the concre- 
tions are fossiliferous and contain the 
typical volutes, cowries, cones, and 
other forms belonging to the Balcom- 
bian series. Resting on these older 
beds is an interesting conglomerate 
containing many peculiar elongated 
shapes apparently concretionary in 
origin, also coarse quartz and numer- 
ous fossils, including some derived 
forms from the older beds. It is in this 
conglomerate bed especially that most 
of the shark's teeth and other fish as 
well as whale remains are to be found. 
There can be very little doubt that the 
popularity of this locality from the 

January 7 February 

point of view of the collecter the 
student, or the geologist is to a great 
extent due to these interesting fossils 

In these beds there are the remains 
of a great many different kinds of 
shark, at least fifteen have already 
been recorded under the names of 
Notidanus, Cestracion, Aster acanthus, 
Galeocerdo, Odontaspis, Lamna, hu- 
ms and Carcharodon. In addition 
there are other fish remains such as 
rays (Myliobatis), chimaeras (Eda- 
phodon), wrasses (Labrodon), Porcu- 
pine fish (Diodon), rock Ling 
(Genypterus) and many others. 
Whale remains include ribs, shoulder 
blades, paddle bones, portions of 
skulls, snouts, earbones (Cetotolites 
four different types), teeth {Physeto- 
don, Scaldicetus) . Older Ziphoid whale 
remains occur in the lower or older 
beds but these are very rare. Thus 
showing clearly the presence of several 
types of these extinct creatures. (In 
addition marsupial and bird bones, 
including penguins, have been found 
here. Ed.) 

In recent years we have had some 
remarkable shore strandings of schools 
of whales in the north coast of Tas- 
mania, on the Gipsland coast, as well 
as on the South Australian shores 
where the conditions were hardly 
favourable for their preservation. 
Some such happening as this very 
likely took place in our older seas in 
the neighbourhood of where Beau- 
maris now stands judging by the very 
large number of whale remains that 
have already been discovered at this 
locality. Numerous remains of the 
invertebrate division of the Animal 
Kingdom are also present in direct 
association with the above, notably 
mollusca or shellfish and corals. (The 
modern view of this deposit is that it 
is a "lag deposit" formed as a result 
of erosion of the underlying sediments 
leaving behind a concentrate of whale 


Fig. 9 

D/oc/on form as us 
(Chapman \Pri/c//,i/< / 

con fort id ens 


Isurus retro ft ex a 
(A (psst'z) 

Cestrac/on cainozoicus 
(Chapman fyPrif-chard) 



da vis i &*kf-'' 

fihapman&'frifcfnnt) *T^ , 

lOharcharqden i 

(Aqass/z) Black nock 



Chapman ftPrifcharcl ' 


Fossil Fish. 

/5urus hastaJ/s Ce 5 tractor? spine 


hurus crassa 


bone before the overlying sediments 
were deposited. Ed.) 

A little higher up in the beds mol- 
lusca become much more abundant 
and definite layers of different shells 
such as Placunanomia, Cucullaea, 
Eucrassatella, Chione and Mactra 
show in a striking manner. Placuna- 
nomia is a thin pearly translucent 
shell not unlike some oyster shells and 
it occurs in and above the concretion 
bed. Cucullaea is one of the box 
shells and occurs in patches and local 
beds. Then the Eucrassatella band is 
very pronounced but few of the shells 

are well preserved. This bed shows a 
very pronounced roll in this section; it 
is first to be noted at sea-level some 
distance west of the hotel, below the 
hotel it is several feet above sea level, 
while at the east end of Beaumaris 
Bay it again descends to sea-level. As 
a rule the Chione-Mactra bed is a 
little higher in the section. These 
molluscan remains on account of the 
porous, sandy character of the beds 
have been for the most part converted 
into soft, chalky material and the 
greatest care is necessary to collect 
anything like fair specimens; in some 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 


The Port Jackson shark or pig fish Cestracian (heterodontus) philippi. Side view 

of cartilaginous jaws with their strong lateral grinding teeth oi' varying size and 

shape and the much smaller gripping teeth at the front. These usually break away 

from the cartilage and preserve as individual teeth, hence great care is necessary 

in their collection and identification. Every modification o\' form does not mean 

a new species. 

Top view of same without the front teeth. 

Side view of dorsal fin spine o( Cestracian. 

Myliobatis. Pavement of crushing teeth oi the living skate. These also disintegrate 

into individual pieces in the fossil state. 

Tailspine or so called sting of a Ray. These may be obtained up to 18 inches or 

more in length and represent a fish of several hundredweight. 

Porcupine fish (Diodon hystrix). Upper and lower jaws, teeth and crushing 

palates of the common Porcupine fish. 

January /February 


cases the calcareous matter of the 
shells has been entirely removed and 
only casts and impressions in limonite 
are now to be seen, but these amply 
show the great abundance of the shells. 
Above this molluscan bed there is 
another very characteristic layer 
packed very full of sea-eggs or sea 
urchins in an excellent state of preser- 
vation. The commonest type is a more 
or less heart-shaped, convexly rounded 
test which is known under the name 
of Lovenia Woodsi (Etheridge), but 
several other forms can also be pro- 
cured by careful collecting. 

It can thus be noted that there are 
many interesting differences in the 
preservation of fossils in this section, 
and several questions can arise as to 
differences in the composition and 
structure of shells and other organic 
remains. These beds are constantly wet 
with percolating water and where 
some of this water drips out on to the 
recent sand and shingle the binding 

or cementing of the material can be 
seen in progress, on examination it is 
easy to prove that the cement is a 
calcareous one, and consideration of 
these facts will show quite clearly how 
the numerous calcareous concretions 
in the cliff section have originated. To- 
wards the top of the section the beds 
are inclined to show rather less iron 
colouring matter, until in places prac- 
tically white sands are in evidence 
of whales on the north coast of Tas- 
and the character of the soils in the 
whole of this district is well known 
to be sandy, light or dark in colour 
according to the quantity of organic 
or vegetable matter present. In some 
parts these upper beds carry quite a 
number of fragments of recent shells 
of windblown origin, sometimes the 
shell remains are redistributed material 
from the early aboriginal camping 
grounds, and are in consequence 
usually to be observed only in the 
immediate vicinity of the coast. 




Fig. 11 


. ■■? ~f 



Lovenia woodsi 
one of the most 
common Beau- 
maris fossils. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

A new race of Trogonoptera brookiana Wallace 
(Lepidoptera: Papilionidae) from West Malaysia 

by Bernard D'Abrera* 
Victor Doggett** 
Norman Parker f 


The population of T. brookiana, 
occurring on the eastern to south- 
eastern side of the Malay Peninsula, 
previously regarded as being identical 
to the race trogon Vollenhoven from 
Sumatra, is here recognised and de- 
scribed as a distinct sub-species, differ- 
ing significantly from trogon on mor- 
phological and geographical grounds. 


The genus Trogonoptera Rippon 
comprises two species confined to 
Sundaland (excluding Java) which are 
T. brookiana Wallace and T. trojana 
Honrath. The latter species is con- 
fined to Palawan, but T. brookiana is 
known to occur in four races, T. b. 
brookiana (Borneo, Balabac Is.), T. b. 
natunensis (Natuna Is), T. b albescens 
(West Malaysia) and T. b. trogon 

About 1937, specimens of a popula- 
tion of T. brookiana were taken in the 
swamps of south-eastern Johore by 
Eliot and Cowan. Corbet and Pendle- 
bury (1956) merely refer to this popu- 
lation as being trogon, which decision 
does not appear to have been formally 
published with irrefutable evidence as 
to its conspecificity with trogon. 

Fleming (1975) follows Corbet and 
Pendlebury in treating this population 
as trogon. 

Eliot has since published two refer- 
ences to this population (1958; 1973) 
and in neither does he appear to be 
aware of its possibly different identity. 
D'Abrera (1975) suspected the exist- 
ence of an anomalous situation be- 

tween trogon from Sumatra and the 
population being described here. Other 
specimens of this population have also 
been taken at various localities in 
Trengganu State by different collec- 
tors, and there have been verbal 
reports of sightings in localities be- 
tween Trengganu and Johore on the 
eastern side of the central massif, at 
low to medium elevations. 

On a recent excursion to West 
Malaysia, the first author was shown 
specimens of this population belonging 
to the collections of the other two 
authors as well as to those of W. A. 
Fleming and his wife, Alix Fleming. 

It soon became apparent that this 
population might differ from trogon 
and it was resolved to make a 
thorough examination of available 

While external morphology appears 
distinctive enough, it is in the male 
genitalia that significant differences 
may be observed between T. b. trogon 
and the population now being de- 

We do not agree with Eliot (1973) 
that the new population has only 
recently reached the Peninsula by im- 
migration across the Straits of Malacca 
for indeed it is a puzzle that it is not 
established in the western portion of 
the Peninsula, obviously closer to 
Sumatra than is its present habitat. 
That the form has been present on the 

*'Hill House', Highview Road, Ferny Creek, 

Victoria 3786, Australia. 

** 7D Amber Road, Singapore 15. 

t 25 Rebecca Road, Singapore 10. 

January 7 February 


Malay Peninsula even before albescens 
must now be regarded as a possibility, 
with albescens being the more "re- 
cent" development of the two — indeed 
similarity of the eastern population to 
both trogon and natunensis emphasises 
rather the specialised nature of 

If, as Zeuner suggests (1943: 147) 
the phase of divergence of Trogono- 
ptera from ancestral hypolitus was in 
the late pliocene (his "W" stage) then 
it is to the early pleistocene ("Y" stage) 
that we can look for the beginnings of 
albescens. It is now apparent that the 
common ancestor of the Trogonoptera 
group spread westwards from the 
Celebes, one slightly northwards (tro- 
jana) and the others across Borneo to 
Malaya and Sumatra. This would com- 
fortably explain the presence of three 
similar forms in a westward configura- 
tion at similar elevations, with the un- 
described form inhabiting the eastern 
side of the Peninsula. 

That albescens has been the most 
recently isolated, specialised semi- 
montane and successful form would 
also be thus explained, while it would 
be further clear why it has as yet not 
penetrated Thailand or Southern 
Burma. There is no doubting the capa- 
city of albescens to surmount high 
terrain or fly across great distances, 
but because it appears to be still in the 
process of establishing itself in the 
north-west and central parts of the 
Peninsula (commercial plundering not- 
withstanding) it will only be a matter 
of time before it does invade Thailand 
and South Burma. 

The other Peninsula population, 
however, is not as successful, and this 
would tend to draw attention to its 
comparative antiquity in terms of the 
respective ages of both races. Plainly, 
that albescens is the fitter of the two 
to survive, is now patently clear. We 
would also suggest that although 
albescens is a strong, successful in- 

sect, it is also very strongly territorial 
when compared with Ornithoptera 
species or most Troides. 

Individual specimens of brookiana 
have frequently been observed operat- 
ing a particular corridor or flight path 
with almost ceaseless monotony. This 
behaviour is virtually unknown among 
the Ornithorptera or most Troides, 
which by comparison are very ad- 
venturous creatures. Its lack of will- 
ingness to colonize new territories is 
thus apparently explained. Other 
phenomena, such as the habit males 
have of congregating over seepage 
in large numbers, the confinement of 
the genus to Neomalaya, the develop- 
ment of a sphragis on the ostium of 
the female, and the difficulty natura- 
lists have had in locating the breeding 
areas of most races show a conserva- 
tism and exclusiveness not known in 
any of the other allies of Troides. 
It is then interesting to note that in 
the experience of all of the few who 
have observed the eastern population, 
contrary to what is known about the 
other brookiana races, it is the female 
which is the most often encountered 

Eliot's (1973) comment that the two 
populations have not interbred so far 
because of differences in food plant is 
most probably true, but an examina- 
tion of the genitalia also indicates why 
this is not probable. 

Trogonoptera brookiana mollumar 
subsp. nov. 

Both sexes of this race wear the 
well-known livery of the brookiana 
group and detailed descriptions are 
not necessary. However, those indi- 
vidual characters which tend to dis- 
tinguish it from its nearest (in appear- 
ance) relative, T. b. trogon, are here 
described. It must also be pointed out 
that this "new" race is nowhere as 
strongly sexually dimorphic as 
albescens or the nominate race. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Mai e. Principal observable differ- 
ences arc mainly on the recto (above, 

upper) surface of the hindwing where 
the green discal area is more extensive 
than on trogon being extended to 
more than half the distance from the 
base o\ the h.w. to the dorsum. In the 
specimens examined the distal margin 
of this green disc is also very notice- 
ably convex where in trogon it is 
straight in some specimens and 
markedly concave in Others. 

The space between veins* 7 and S 
is also very noticeably sulTused with 
green scaling (closer to vein 7 than 
it is to vein «S) a Feature which is 
almost non-exislant in trogon, being 
at best a very occasional and weakly 
developed character in that race. The 
hindwing itself o\' mollumar differs 
noticeably in shape from that o\' 
trogon (and the other races) in the 
region o\' the apex. In this race vein 8 
is more bowed close to the costa and 
vein 7 less bowed along its length than 
in trogon. 

Consequently the apical margin o[ 
the hindwing o\' this race is more 
sharply angled away from the costa 
than it is on trogon, and indeed does 
not possess the faintly scalloped or in- 
curved section o\' the dorsum between 
vein 7 and 8 which is a feature o\' 
trogon and albescens. 

FEMALE. As in the male, the female 
also differs noticeably from trogon 
principally in the hindwing. The green 
discal area of the recto surface o\' the 
hindwing is more extensive than it is 
on trogon, occupying as it does more 
than half of the area of the hindwing, 
where in trogon it covers less than 
half the area of that wing. Further, 
the whitish sub-apical area o\' the 
f.w.r., only faintly indicated in trogon, 
is better developed on this race, as arc 

*Because of its simplicity and lin-ambigUOUS ap- 
plicability to the Papilionoidea, the classical 
numerical system of notation is here applied, in 

preference to the cumbersome and currently 

fashionable Martynov system. 

indeed the sub-marginal while spots 
on the hindwing. 

Mai i Genitai ia. Zeuner (1943: 1 15 

Fig, .^S) illustrates the clasper and 
harpe of trogon remarking as he does 
that "The other subspecies oi' i 
brookiana Wall, have very similar 
claspers and harpes". 

That this is so has been clear to us 
as well, so it is significant that such 
wide differences should exist between 

trogon and mollumar, Harpe spatulate 
with tapering neck and elongate body 
(in trogon this is poorly developed 

and just barely in-relicf to the clasper 
on trogon)', valvae elongate with bet lei 

defined mid-marginal tooth than on 

trogon. Vinculum bulkier and blunter 
than on trogon (in which race it is 
narrow and produced into a somewhat 
bulbous sacCUS) produced into a finely 
sculptured saCCUS. 

The apex angularis is short, blunt 
and sharply downcurved, while on 
trogon it is long, slender and very 
gently bent. The aedeagus, itself a 
variable feature among individual 
specimens o\' the aristolochia papilios, 
is here noted for a marked difference 
in the head oi' this organ between the 
two races. In trogon the head oi' the 
aedeagus is narrow and characterised 
by two lateral delta-shaped processes 

with a finely scooped-out apex, in 

mollumar no such processes exist, but 
the head of the aedeagus is lubiform 
and prognathic at its lower extremity, 

Type Data 

llololype J, Ulu Sedili, Johore, W. 
Malaysia (V. Doggett), 
17th February, 1^74. 
F.W. 8.5 cms. 

Allotype V Ulu Sedili, Johore, W. 

Malaysia (N. Parker), 

29th August, 1971. F.W. 

6.95 cms. 

(Type specimens now in the British 

Museum (Nat. Hist.) Collection.) 

January /February 


The authors wish to express their 
thanks to the following who either 
generously allowed examination of 
their collections, rendered assistance 
or engaged in useful discussion regard- 
ing T. brookiana . . . W. A. Fleming, 
Mix Fleming, T. G. Howarth, Henry 
Barlow, Elizabeth Matheson, Helen 
Malcolm, Judy Shaw, Fred Hamilton 
and Nigel Quick. 

Corbet, A. S. and Pendlebury, H. M. 

(1956). The Butterflies of the Malay 

Peninsula. Edn. 2. Edinburgh. 
Eliot J. N. (1958). Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. 

Hist.) Ent. 7 (8): 372, 

— (1973). Malay Nat. J. 263 175-176. 
Fleming, W. A. (1975). The Butterflies 

of West Malaysia and Singapore. Vol. 

1. Kuala Lumpur. 
D'Abrera, B. L. (1975). The Birdwing 

Butterflies of The World. Melbourne. 


\ca le 

5 mm,. 


T . brookiana mollumar subsp. nov. 
(opposite clasper) 

Trogonoptera brookiana trogon 
(opposite clasper) 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

A Nest Constructed by Wild Pigs 



In June, 1972, at Amos Bay ap- 
proximately 19 miles south of Cook- 
town, northeastern Queensland, a 
carefully constructed nest of blady 
grass was found accidentally. This nest 
is illustrated in Plate la. Amos Bay 
where the nest was found is a fairly 
moist area of open Eucalyptus forest 
with a dense Blady Grass (Imperata 
cylindrica) cover. The nest was ap- 
proximately 6 ft. long, 4 ft. 6 in. wide 
and 2 ft. deep along the mid line. It 
contained a well-formed chamber with 
a diameter of approximately 10 ins. 
and a length of 4 ft. The nest was 
very carefully constructed with each 
sheaf of grass placed meticulously for 
best support and shelter and yet to 
keep the chamber clear. A search in 
the adjoining area for the mammals 
which might have constructed the nest 
or be using it was unsuccessful, as was 
the search for animal traces (faeces, 
tracks) over a much wider area. A 
methodical examination of the whole 
area resulted in the location of several 
other nests in various states of dis- 
repair, obviously abandoned, but of 
the same basic construction. One of 
these is shown in Plate lb. 

Several native mammals construct 
nests of grass and although none was 
known to utilize such a large structure 
it was assumed that a marsupial, pos- 
sibly Bettongia tropica (which occurs 
in the general area but is very rare), 
Aepyprymnus rufescens (which also 
occurs in the area), or some other 
Macropodid must be responsible. The 
size of the nest was not consistent 
with descriptions of marsupial nests in 

standard Australian mammal texts 
and the possibility that the structure 
was a meedja (shelter) of local wan- 
dering Aborigines was investigated. 
Meedjas are, however, larger than the 
nest and are constructed with a light 
twig frame. Mr. R. Bell of Normanby 
Station, about 50 miles west of Cook- 
town, provided the solution to the 
mystery. The nests are used by female 
wild pigs (Sus scroffa) for shelter 
when they have suckling young. 
Mr. Bell has reported riding over 
similar nests many times, sending a 
tribe of piglets and their mother rush- 
ing ofT in wild fright. 

Pigs were introduced to southern 
Australia with the first settlers and to 
settlements in the north about fifty 
years later. They now occur widely in 
isolated coastal areas of Western Aus- 
tralia, near the coast in the Northern 
Territory, almost throughout Queens- 
land, and in central and western New 
South Wales (Frith 1973, p. 158). De- 
spite the facts that they are considered 
a pest wherever they occur and that 
they are often very common, occur- 
ring in "plague" proportions in many 
areas, no detailed study has been pub- 
lished on the species in Australia. One 
such study has been completed on the 
species in southern U.S.A. (Conley et. 
al. 1972). These authors comment 
"Hogs are usually inactive in the day- 
time in characteristic beds. Often 
these beds are no more than slight 
depressions in leaves on the forest 
floor. The material utilized for beds is 
that which is readily available. If the 

♦Queensland Museum 

January 7 February 


Plate la (at top). Nest used by female wild pig when suckling young as described 
on page 25. 

Plate lb. Old nest that has been abandoned. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

beds are located on bare soil, leaves, 
needles, and twigs from nearby will 
usually be utilized for construction. 
The beds are not elaborate struc- 
tures." No nests utilized by lactating 
females are described. The Amos Bay 
nests, in contrast to the beds described 
by Conley et al., are elaborate and 
carefully constructed. 

Pigs are very adaptable animals. 
They utilize every habitat from lush 
moist rainforest to dry, sparse ridge 
country open plains, and salt pans and 
can survive on almost anything. Un- 
doubtedly nest construction is not 
common to all habitats because 
materials for such elaborate structures 
are not available throughout northern 

Queensland. It seems certain, how- 
ever, that such nests are constructed 
fairly widely in north-eastern Queens- 
land and that they present further 
evidence of adaptability of wild pigs. 


Mr. C. Tanner took the photo- 
graphs and Mr. R. Bell provided in- 
formation on nests in his area. 

Conley, R. H., Henry, V. G., and 
Matchke, G. H., 1972. Final Report 
for the European Hog Research Pro- 
ject W-34. A Contribution from 
Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration. 
(Tennessee Game and Fish Commis- 

Frith, H. J., 1973. Wildlife Conservation 
(Angus and Robertson, Sydney). 

The Origin of Generic Names of the Victorian Flora 
Part 2 -Latin, Greek and Miscellaneous 

continued from 269 (12) 
by James A. Baines 

Lycopodium. Gk lykos, wolf; 
podion, little foot; because the leaves 
resemble a wolf's claws. Victoria has 
seven species, all native, and known 
as different kinds of clubmoss. The 
genus gives its name to family Lyco- 
podiaceae. The name clubmoss is a 
translation of Lat muscus clavatus, 
applied originally to the European 
species, L. clavatum; clava, a club or 
cudgel; from the club-like shape of its 
upright fertile spikes of spore-cases. 

*Lycopsis. Gk lykos, wolf; opsis, 
face or appearance; the name was 
used by Dioscorides for a plant of this 
boraginaceous family. The resem- 
blance may be fanciful, but credit 
for some plausible imagination must 
be given to the botanist who named 
a puffball genus Lycoperdon, which 

means "a wolf's fart!" *L. arvensis, 
Bugloss, or Field Bugloss, is related 
to *Echium lycopsis, Paterson's Curse 
or Salvation Jane, and *E. vulgare, 
Viper's Bugloss, which are also 
naturalized here. Bugloss comes from 
the Gk for ox-tongue. 

Lycopus. Gk lykos, wolf; poiis, foot; 
from a fancied resemblance of the 
leaf to a wolf's foot. L. australis, 
Australian Gipsywort, is akin to L. 
europaeus, Gipsywort or Water Hore- 
hound, which yields a black dye, but 
has not been found here. The 
genus belongs to family Labiatae 

Lyperanthus. Gk lyperos, mourn- 
ful; anthose, flower; referring to the 
gloomy colour of the flower. L. nigri- 
cans, Red-beaks, has this common 

January 7 February 


name From the purplish-red colour oi' 
the flowers when fresh, and the speci- 
fic name and two other vernaeular 
names from the fact that the flowers 
dry to jet-black it is also known as 
Undertaker Orchid in Victoria and 
Black Orchid in Tasmania. Our other 
species is /,. suaveolens, Brown-beaks, 
with its common name deriving from 
its colour and the specific name From 
its scent. 

Lysiana. Gk lysis, a loosening. L. 
exocarpi, Harlequin Mistletoe, has a 
variety of host trees, most commonly 
on (he Buloke (Casuarina luehmannii), 
but it was named from its parasitism 
of the Cherry Ballart (Exocarpos). 

*Lysimachia. Gk lysimachos, end- 
ing strife, whence the English com- 
mon name. Loosestrife, o\' *L. vul- 
garis, only rarely collected in the 
wilds in Victoria (including by F. 
Mueller). *L. japonica, Japanese 
Loosestrife, was found growing in 
quantity at Toorloo Arm, Lake Tyers, 
in 1971. The Gk name lysimacheion, 
with the above meaning, was given to 
the European plant in honour of King 
Lysimachos oi' Thrace (= "the Peace- 
maker"). The genus belong to family 

Lythrum. Gk lythron, blood; from 
the colour of the flowers on the 
species named first. /.. salicaria, Purple 
Loosestrife, a common English wild- 
flower, is also native here. Our other 
native species is /.. hyssopifolia, Small 
j oosestrife, and we also have Medi- 
terranean Loosestrife, *L. flexuosum. 
The genus gives its name to family 
Lythraceae, quite distinct from the 
loosestrife oi^ the previous entry. One 
is tempted to suggest that the mean- 
ings are opposite, that Lythrum means 
"to let loose blood", i.e. start strife 
rather than end it! 

Macliaerina. Gk machaira, a dagger, 
short sword; from the form of these 
twig-rushes, which were formerly in 

the genus Clacllum; Churchill and De 
Corona list eight species in their 
book 'The Distribution of Victorian 
Plants", citing changes made by 
Koyama and by J. H. Kern; Willis 
retains them in Cladium. 

Macroglena. Gk makros, large, long; 
glene, a cavity. Our sole species, M. 
caudata, Jungle Bristle-fern, was trans- 
ferred from Trichomanes in 1938 by 
Copeland. This large Bristle-fern be- 
longs to family Hymenophyllaceae. 

* Madia. Chilean name of *M. sativa, 
Pitch-weed or Tar-weed, the species 
that is naturalized in Victoria. The 
common name comes from the plant's 
viscidity and heavy scent. In Chile the 
'madi' is cultivated for the oil from 
the seed of these composites. Two 
other American genera in Compositae, 
Hemizonia (California) and Grindelia, 
are also known as tar-weeds. 

Malacocera. Gk malakos, soft; keras, 
horn; because the spreading appen- 
dages are soft and horn-shaped, not 
spiny as in Bassia. (Malacology comes 
from the same root, being the science 
of soft animals, i.e. the living animals 
of molluscs.) Our sole species, M. tri- 
cornis, Goat-head or Soft-horns, was 
classified in Chenolea in 1870. Sydney 
botanist, R. H. Anderson, established 
the new genus of Malacocera in 1926. 
(Mueller had transferred this chenopod 
to Bassia.) 

Malus. Lat name for the apple. Our 
wild crab apples, *M. sylvestris (ori- 
ginally named by L. in 1753 as Pyrus 
malus var. sylvestris, literally 'wood- 
land apple-pear') are, according to 
J. H. Willis, descended from sub- 
species mitis, descended from culti- 
vated apples, not directly from wild 
crabs. Smith & Stearn state that all 
domestic apples are considered to be 
cultivars of the species M. pumila, a 
crab with very wide distribution, 
growing wild from Norway to the 
Himalaya, and from Asia to Spain. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

They mention possible minor interven- 
tion of other species, sue!) as A/. 
prunifolia and M. sylvestris. Apples 
belong to family Rosaceae. 

*Malva. Lat name for the mallow and 
a number of closely allied malvaceous 
plants. The word mallow is merely the 
English form of the same word; in 
German it is Malve and in French 
mauve, hence the colour. Victoria's 
five species are all introduced. *M. 
sylvestris, Common Mallow, is here 
only in varietal form, var. mauritiana 
(=from Mauritius); *M. nicaeensis, 
Mallow of Nice, is a native of all 
Mediterranean countries except Al- 
bania, despite its localized specific 
name. (Marsh Mallow is Althaea 
officinalis, not introduced here.) 

Marianthus. Gk Maria, Mary; anthos, 
flower; an endemic Australian genus 
named by Huegel in 1837 after the 
Virgin Mary. Nearly all the 16 species 
are in the S.W. of W.A., but Victoria 
has two species, Orange Bell-climber 
and White Marianth. Shakespeare's 
'winking marybuds , in Cymbeline, and 
the marigold that 'rises weeping' in A 
Winter's Tale, both refer to another 
flower with similar name origin. A 
great number of old common names 
had religious connotations, such as 
St. John's Wort, Herb Bennet and 

*Marrubium. I. at name of *M. vul- 
xarc\ Horehound; from Hebrew mar- 
rob, bitter juice. This plant provided 
the aromatic bitter juice for an ex- 
tract commonly used as a cough 
remedy. The Old English name, hare 
hune, meant hoary hune (an unidenti- 
fied plant name), so the alternative 
spelling hoarhound would be truer to 
the etymology than the more usual 
spelling horehound, a form resulting 
from folk etymology as though the 
plant had something to i\o with whores 
and bitches! 

* Matricaria. Medieval Lat name \\n 
Mayweed, probably from matrix, 
womb, because of its one-time use by 
doctors in affections of the uterus. 
Our two introduced species are *M. 
globifera, Globe Chamomile, and 
*M. matricarioides, Rounded ov Rax- 
less Chamomile (called Pineapple 
Weed in U.S.A.), originally named 
as a species of Artemisia, hence the 
specific name meaning like Matri- 
caria'. Polunin gives Rayless Mayweed 
as an alternative common name oi^ 
these composites. 

Mazus. Gk mazos, a breast, a teat; 
from the tubercles closing the mouth 
of the corolla (two protuberances in 
the throat). Our species, M. pumilio, 
Swamp Mazus, is the sole representa- 
tive of this scrophulariaceous genus in 

Mecodium. Gk mekodios, seen by the 
way (mekos, length, height). Victoria's 
four species are known as different 
kinds of filmy-fern, three o[ them 
formerly classified in Hymenophyllum 
and one in Trichomancs. Family 

* Medicago. Name originally formed 
by Jacques Dalechamp (1513-1588) 
from Lat medica, lucerne, so-called 
because lucerne was believed to have 
been introduced into Europe from 
Media, a province o[ the old Persian 
Empire. This is Black's explanation; 
Jaeger says the origin was Gk medike, 
a kind of clover from Media. All our 
ten species are introduced, including 
*M. sativa, Lucerne or Alfalfa; the 
others are known as different kinds 
of medicks (bur clovers in U.S.A.). 
British writers on the flora invariably 
use the spelling of medick with the 
final k, as in Ewart's 'Flora of Vic- 
toria', but present-day Australian 
botanists drop the k (as happened 
much earlier with words like publiek). 
Medic is pronounced as in medical 

January /February 


when used for an army medical assist- 
ant; medick should be pronounced 
with the first syllable as in meed (or 
in Medes and Persians). The genus 
belongs, of course, to Papilionaceae. 

Melaleuca. Gk melas, black; leukos, 
white; Linnaeus naming the genus in 
1767 because an Asiatic form of M. 
leucadendron has a black trunk and 
white branches. On the other hand, 
most of our Australian species of 
paperbarks have white or whitish 
trunks and give a general appearance 
of blackness in the distance from the 
dark foliage. The species named above 
has a specific name meaning white 
tree. Victoria's 12 species, all native, 
are known as paperbarks, honey- 
myrtles, and one species, M. lanceo- 
late (syn. M. pubescens) has an Abori- 
ginal name, Moonah. From the close- 
packed arrangement of its fruits, M. 
decussata is known as Totem-poles 
(as well as Cross-leaf Honey-myrtle) 
and M. uneinata is known as Mallee 
Broom-bush in addition to Broom 
Honey-myrtle. These shrubs and trees 
belong to family Myrtaceae. 

*Melianthus. Gk meli, honey; anthos, 
flower; known as honey-bush or 
honey-flower from the same charac- 
teristic. Our naturalized species, *M. 
comosus (Tufted Honey-flower, known 
in its South African homeland by the 
Afrikaans name of Kruidje-roer-my- 
nie (= Touch-me-not) because of its 
unpleasant odour and toxicity to 
stock), has also been successful in 
establishing itself in South Australia, 
whereas *M. major. Cape Honey- 
flower, persists only about old estates. 
The genus gives its name to family 

Melichrus. Gk melichros, honey- 
coloured (from meli, honey; chros, 
colour). Our sole species, M. urceo- 

latus, Urn Heath, has an urn-shaped 
flower, as the specific name indicates 
(Lat urceus, urn or pitcher; urceolus, 
little urn). The genus is in family 

Melilotus. Greco-Latin name of these 
plants, from Gk meli, honey; lotos, 
lotus; the genus being related to Lotus. 
Victoria's three introduced species are 
Sweet Melilot, Mediterranean Melilot, 
and Bokhara Clover. Common Melilot 
has been found as an occasional weed, 
mainly among crops of lucerne. 

* Melissa. Gk melissa, a honey-bee, 
from meli, honey; Melissa was also 
the name of a Cretan nymph who first 
discovered how to get honey; the 
flowers are liked by bees. Our species 
is *M. officinalis, Common Balm, the 
word balm being an English shorten- 
ing of Lat balsamum, balsam. The 
family is Labiatae, to which belongs 
Prostanthera melissifolia, Balm Mint- 
bush, whose specific name means 'with 
leaves like Melissa'. 

Melothria. Gk melothron, a wild vine, 
applied to some species of Bryonia, 
another member of this family, Cucur- 
bitaceae. Our species, M. micrantha, 
Mallee Cucumber, is found only in the 
N.W. of the State. 

Mentha. Gk minthe, from which Lat 
mentha and menta, classical name of 
mint, the English word being a form 
of the same word, as is French menthe 
(e.g. in creme de menthe). Victoria has 
three introduced species, Pennyroyal, 
Spearmint and Lemon Mint, and four 
native species (River, Forest, Creeping 
and Slender Mints). Plants approach- 
ing the typical form of *M. piperita 
have been noted at Sassafras in the 
Dandenongs (the Peppermint). The 
family is Labiatae. 

(To be continued) 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 


We regret the death of two long- 
standing members of this Club and 
express sympathy to their relatives. 

Ivo Hammet 30/12/75. Mr Ham- 
met was President FNCV 1944-5. He 
was a pioneer grower of native plants 
and many members will recall his fine 
garden of natives; he was the founda- 
tion President of SGAP and of great 
assistance in establishing the Maranoa 
Gardens. Mr Hammet was also noted 

for his book collection of Australiana 
with particular emphasis on natural 

George Collis 1/1/76. Mr Collis 
was an enthusiastic field naturalist and 
school teacher, but was forced to 
retire early due to ill health. He at- 
tended many FNCV extended excur- 
sions and camp-outs, and spent a 
happy two days (though necessarily in- 
active ones) after Christmas with the 
FNCV excursion at Orbost. 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

General Meeting 

8 December 

Speaker for the evening was Dr. M. 
Joshi. The topic was to have been "The 
Grand Canyon U.S. A." but the accom- 
panying slides had been mislaid. Instead, 
Dr. Joshi spoke of the granitic rocks that 
extend down the west of America from 
Alaska to Chile, and showed slides of 
three national parks of California in 
that granitic belt — Yosemite, Lassen and 
Sequoia National Parks. 

Exhibits included three intriguing 
items under the microscopes. An amoeba. 
Formless and almost colourless, was ac- 
companied by an alga, presumably uni- 
cellular; although xl()0, the alga ap- 
peared as minute green dots. A scarlet 
mite was bewilderingly active, never still 
for a moment, the eight legs often 
blurred by its rapid movement. A marine 
protozoa, euglena type with one flagel- 
lum, had been found as green scum on 
the beach. 

Secretary and Editor. Again the Presi- 
dent called for volunteers for these two 

Reports on surveys. The President read 
a letter from the Department of Conser- 
vation asking for reports on fauna or 
flora surveys carried out by groups or 

The Naturalist. While awaiting a new 
editor, an editorial committee will ensure 
continued publication of the Naturalist 
and articles should be sent to the Editor, 
F.N.C.V., National Herbarium, The 
Domain, South Yarra. 3141. More 
articles, short or long, would be wel- 
come from both scientific and research 
workers and from laymen with informa- 
tion or observation on any particular 
species, genera, areas or other aspects of 
natural history. Now that the Naturalist 
is to be issued only six times each year, 
it would be desirable to increase the 
contents considerably. 

The Naturalist has been published for 
more than 90 years. A subject index pre- 
pared bv the late Miss K. Hall and an 
author index prepared by Mr. J. Baines 
are being typed — in the hope that we 
can find a wav to finance their publica- 
tion. These indices are held at the 
National Museum and are available 
there for reference. 

A volunteer is sought to take charge 
of the page "Diary of Coming Events". 
This has largely fallen on Mr. Mclnnis 
but he does a great many other things 
fov the Club and should be relieved of 
this extra task. Group Secretaries are 
asked to send in their programmes as 
early as possible, especially necessary 
now that the Naturalist will appear only 
on alternate months. If programmes for 

January x February 


4-6 months or for the whole year are 
received well in advance, it will be 
possible for each fixture to appear in 
two issues. 

General Meeting 

12 January 

The meeting opened with the an- 
nouncement of the death of Mr. Ivo 
Hammet and of Mr. George Collis. All 
members stood in silence for a minute. 
See page 31. 

Traditionally, the first meeting of the 
year is a Members' Night and six mem- 
bers presented items. 

Mr. Alan Morrison showed superb 
slides of some W.A. wildflowers, and of 
a caterpillar and moth similar to the 
Emperor Gum but very hairy. 

Dr. Brian Smith spoke of a scientific 
expedition to Lizard Island, 150 miles 
north of Cairns. It was mainly to study 
marine molluscs but Dr. Smith's purpose 
was land molluscs. He showed slides of 
the area, of goannas, of a turtle camou- 
flaging the spot after laying eggs, and of 
two carnivorous snails that are abundant 
in the tropical forest. One of them is 
only \ in. across the shell, the other 
H ins. A carnivore does not show a tail 
behind the shell when on the move as a 
garden snail does. Returning via Towns- 
ville, Dr. Smith was pleased to find a 
rare snail that produces a red mucus. 

Mr. Ken Strong spoke of a gall fly 
obtained from galls on flower buds of a 
Eucalypt. Each gall might contain up to 
60 fly larvae which pupate in the gall. 
The adult fly, about J in. long, has a 
sucking mouth and pads on the feet like 
a house fly, and Mr. Strong wondered 
how such a soft-mouthed, soft-footed 
creature could emerge through half an 

inch of hard woody gall. He discovered 
that the young fly, when about to emerge, 
has a balloon-like structure or ptilinum 
on the front of the head, and the 
ptilinum is covered with hundreds of 
rasp-like teeth. Mr. Strong has not been 
able to find any information about the 
development of a ptilinum in gall flies, 
but it is present in some flies that 
emerge from the ground. Large, clear 
diagrams illustrated the talk and they 
also supplemented the slides under 
several microscopes which were examined 
at end of the meeting. 

Photographic slides of Switzerland 
were shown by Mr. Reuben Kent, of 
U.S. A by Mr. Jim Baines, and of land 
forms of South Australia taken from the 
air by Mrs. Seamons. 

Bird Atlas. A letter from V.O.R.G. 
organising committee for a bird atlas, 
asked for the co-operation of members 
of this Club who can identify birds and 
plot their positions on a map. Those 
interested should contact our Council, 
and perhaps an address could be ob- 
tained from one of the organisers. 

Spare-time workers for National 
Museum. Dr. Brian Smith said that the 
invertebrate section of the Museum 
could utilise several voluntary workers 
in writing labels, and suggested it would 
be a helpful, instructive, though unpaid 
occupation for teenagers on school 

Exhibits were dominated by Ken 
Strong's excellent display on the gall 
fly — clearly annotated diagrams and 
slides under microscopes of pupae in the 
gall, the head of fly with ptilinum, the 
long ovipositor, etc. A ghost moth, 4 in. 
long, was obtained near Swan Hill, and 
a specimen of Bolwarra, Eupomatia 
laurina. with } in. cream flower, was 
obtained near Orbost. 

Western Victoria Field Naturalists Clubs Association 

Report of Member Club Activities for 1974 

Donald History and Natural History Group. 
President: Mrs. J. Golding. 
Secretary: Mrs. R. Falla. 

The Group has had another busy year, with members attending the three 
W.V.F.N.C.A. meetings. Keen interest has continued in the Mount Jeffcott Flora 
Reserve, with many individual and group visits. A party from Warracknabeal was 
escorted through the Reserve in September. Members are delighted with the regenera- 
tion taking place in the area now that grazing has ceased, and the seventh type of 
orchid was found on the Mount in spring. 
Geelong Field Naturalists Club. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

President: Mr. J. Hunt. 
Secretary: Mr. G. McCarthy. 
Membership: Approximately 500. 

Well-attended camp-outs were held to the Otways, Grampians Mud Islands and 
Brisbane Ranges. Monthly excursions, including two by bus, were held with upwards 
of 20 carloads of members attending. The monthly meetings, with both visiting and 
Club speakers, usually attracted 130 members. The Club hosted the Latrobe Valley 
F.N.C. in October. Tree-planting has been undertaken at the You Yangs, Belmont 
Common and Ocean Grove Nature Reserve. 

Hamilton Field Naturalists Club. 
Secretary: Mr. D. McKenzie. 

The highlight of the year was the staging of "Photoflora 74" slides. This proved 
most successful and over 180 attended. Maintenance of the Wannon Wildflower 
Reserve continued, and tree-planting was undertaken at Bryant's Swamp. Club 
members have been elected to the committees of management of both Mount Napier 
and Lake Linlithgow. Excursions included the Billywing-Black Range area (with 
Portland F.N.C), Heywood Forests, Byaduk Caves and Mount Napier (with 
Warrnambool F.N.C), and Port Fairy district. Camp-outs were held to the Little 
Desert and Mount Richmond (with W.V.F.N.C.A.). 

Horsham Field Naturalists Club. 
President: Mr. C Kroker. 
Secretary: Mrs. J. Hill. 
Membership: 23. 

The annual essay competition, with nature and environment topics, was again 
conducted for primary school children and books were given as prizes. Regular 
film nights were held, also members' nights, featuring seven-minute talks on subjects 
of interest. Guest speakers discussed use of forests, parks of the west U.S.A., field 
trip to the Grampians and Aboriginal paintings. A submission was made to the 
Minister of Lands re suggested purchase of land adjoining Mount Zero. 

Maryborough Field Naturalists Club. 
President: Mr. H. Beer. 
Secretary: Mrs. L. Courtney. 
Membership: 90 adults, 10 juniors. 

The Club enjoyed a successful year with well-attended monthly meetings and 
excursions. "Photoflora 74" was staged and was enjoyed by a good audience. Local 
apiarists donated 550 pounds of honey to the Club; this was bottled by members and 
sold at the Club display stand during the Golden Wattle Festival to augment funds for 
sanctuary fencing. A working bee was held to eradicate boneseed from the local bush, 
with satisfactory results. 

Mid Murray Field Naturalists Trust. 
President: Mr. J. Hayward. 
Secretary: Miss G. Willoughby. 
Membership: 40 adults and 10 juniors. 

A very busy year with the usual regular meetings and outings, plus all the extra 
planning and work that goes into the local screening of "Photoflora 74", hosting the 
W.V.F.N.CA. August weekend, preparing submissions for the Land Conservation 
during general meetings. All this was wonderfully topped off by the exciting news in 
December that the Trust had won the Victorian Conservation Award for 1974. This 
is a great honour to us, and in fact to all the work of conservation carried on by all 
the scattered Field Naturalist Clubs of Western Victoria. 
Council Mallee Report and members taking turns to lead the juniors for a half-hour 

Portland Field Naturalists Club. 
President: Mr. M. Streeter. 
Secretary: Mr. C Shoebridge. 

The average attendance at meetings during the year was 23, and this included 
three regular juniors. The highlight of the year was the hosting in October of the 
W.V.F.N.CA. Annual Meeting. The efforts were well rewarded by the many thanks 
tendered by those who made the journey to the Mount Richmond camp-out area. 

January /February 33 

Club excursions were not well attended. The striking of a Club badge was an 
important event, and a good effort by members resulted in all the ordered badges 
being paid for. Their sales in future years will provide some revenue. 

Stawell Field Naturalists Club. 

President: Mr. I. McCann. 

Secretary: Mrs. J. Hughes. 

Membership: 20. f 

The average attendance at meetings has been nine. Half and full-day excursions 
were held. Slides of the area, and its flora and fauna were again shown at Hall s Gap 
during the holidays. Two new plants have been added to the local flora list; the 
Pale Leek Orchid at the Three Jacks Sanctuary, and Urn Heath in the forest north- 
east of the town. 

Sunraysia Naturalists Research Trust. 
President: Mr. I. George. 
Secretary: Mr. P. Watson. 

Membership: 120. . t 

Topics discussed at meetings included bushfires and control-burning, biological 
control of red scale in citrus, geology and gemstones and growing Australian plants. 
Places visited during excursions included Frenchman's Creek (using water transport), 
Tapio Station to see original mallee country along the Murray, Hattah, and the 
Mount Henschke rock country. The Christmas meeting following a picnic tea was 
unique in that the business part was held at the picnic area on the rowing club lawns. 
A natural history film is shown before each general meeting. 

Timboon Field Naturalists Club. 

President: Mr. K. McQuinn. 

Secretary: Mrs. F. Negrello. 

Membership: 9 family groups, 8 single adults, 2 juniors. 

Average attendance at meetings has been 27. Outings were held to Beauchamps 
Falls near Beech Forest, Hawk's Nest Road near Lake Corangamite, Bay of Islands 
and coastal areas. Cape Otway. Some were held with Warrnambool and Colac Clubs. 
Guest speakers for the year covered such topics as the Colac Lakes area, travels to the 
Big Desert, Antarctica and Western Australia, and included speakers from Geelong, 
Portland and Melbourne. 

Warrnambool Field Naturalists Club. 

President: Mr. V. Yeoman. 

Secretary: Mrs. M. Yeoman. 

Membership: 38, including 4 juniors. m 

Meetings and field outings were well attended during the year. Highlights ot the 
year included the hosting of the autumn camp-out of the W.V.F.N.C.A., the com- 
bined Field Naturalist and Gem Club display, a weekend at Hall's Gap, a trip to 
Lady Julia Percy Island and a visit to Melba Gully. Approaches were made to 
various departments in the hope that Melba Gully could be retained in its natural 
state. It was due to these efforts, plus the wonderful gesture of Mr. and Mrs. Madsen 
that Melba Gully has now been handed to the Victorian Conservation Trust. The gift 
to the Trust of land owned by Club member Mr. R. Illidge came as a great closing 
note for 1974. 


Due to increased postage costs, it has become policy to advise contributors, 
only of the non-acceptance of an article. However, if you wish acknowledgement 
in any case, please include a stamped and addressed envelope. 

34 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(Continued from page 2) 

Sedgewick Hall when the local Club will provide the speaker. A full-day 
excursion on Sunday with an informal discussion around the camp fire in the 
evening and another excursion on Monday. The Bendigo Mammal Survey group 
will arrange spotlighting on one evening. The campsite is on a private block at 
Sedgewick with plenty of room for tents and caravans and shelter if the weather 
is bad. Basic toilet facilities will be provided but there will not be any electric 
power for caravans. Those wishing to camp on Friday night should ring Bendigo 
(054) 43 7950. 

It was not possible to obtain sufficient group accommodation for those not 
wishing to camp to justify a coach but it is hoped many members will go by 
private cars and it should be possible for them to book accommodation in the 
district for a car load. Would anyone going by car who would like to take 
another member, please contact the Excursion Secretary. 

Sunday, 21 March — Hanging Rock. The coach will leave Batman Avenue at 
9.30 a.m. Fare $3.00. Bring one meal and a snack. 

Friday, 16 April — Monday 19 April (Easter Weekend) — Beechworth. The coach 
will leave Flinders Street, outside the Gas and Fuel Corporation at 8.30 a.m. 
Contact Excursion Secretary later for further details. The coach fare will be 
$20.00 and should be paid to the Excursion Secretary by the end of March. 
Members will pay for accommodation individually as it is probable the party 
will be in two groups. 


Day Group — Any Member is Welcome — Third Thursday in the Month. 

Thursday, 19 February — Royal Botanic Gardens (Western Side) and Alexandra 
Gardens. Meet outside the Herbarium at 11.30 a.m. 

Thursday, 18 March — Caulfield Park. Meet at Tramway Junction, cnr. Hawthorn 
and Balaclava Roads, 11.30 a.m. 
There will not be a Day Group Meeting in April as Easter intervenes. 

Thursday, 20 May — Fitzroy Gardens Kiosk at 11.30 a.m. then after lunch to 
Institute of Archaeology. 


14-15 February. Pyalong Area. 
6-8 March. Otway Ranges. 

(Details Robin Sandell, 83 8009 (home).) 

21-22 February. 
6-8 March. 

Winning Slides of Photoflora' 76 

Ninety minutes of top competition Bourke and William Streets on Mon- 

slides on native flowers, birds and day 5 April. Adults $1, children and 

bushland will be shown at 8 p.m. at pensioners 50 cents, family $3. 

Kew Baptist Church Hall, Highbury Contact Native Plants Preservation 

Grove on Wednesday 10 March; at Society of Victoria, 3 Allfrey Street, 

Malvern City Hall, corner Glenferrie East Brighton, 3187, phone 58 5753 

Road and High Street on Tuesday for information on the other twenty 

30 March; and in Melbourne at centres in suburbs and country where 

Theatrette, AMP Building, corner these slides will be shown. 

January /February 35 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

Established 1880 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora. 

His Excellency the Honorable Sir HENRY WINNEKE, K.C.M.G., O.B.E., Q.C. 

Key Office-Bearers, 1975-1976. 

Mr. P. KELLY, 260 The Boulevard, East Ivanhoe, 3079. 

Correspondence Secretary: GARNET JOHNSON, 20 Sydare Ave., Chadstone, 3148. 
Treasurer — Subscription Secretary: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Rd., East 

Malvern, 3145. 
Acting Hon. Editor: Mr. G. M. WARD, 54 St. James Road, Heidelberg, 3084. 
Hon. Librarian: Mr. J. MARTINDALE, c/o National Herbarium, The Domain, 

South Yarra. 
Hon. Excursion Secretary: Miss M. ALLENDER, 19 Hawthorn Avenue, Caulfield, 

3151. (52 2749.) 
Magazine Sales Officer: Mr. D. E. McINNES. 
Archives Officer: Mr. CALLANAN, 29 Reynards St., Coburg, 3058. Tel. 36 0587. 

Group Secretaries 

Botany: Miss E. JONES, 6 West Crt., Glen Waverley, 3150. (560 2280.) 

Day Group: Miss D. M. BELL, 17 Tower Street, Mont Albert, 3127. (89 2850.) 

Entomology and Marine Biology' Mr. JOHN ZIMMER. (419 4706, business hours.) 

Field Survey: R. D. SANDELL, 39 Rubens Gve., Canterbury, 3126. (83 8009) 

Geology: Mr. T. SAULT. 

Mammal Survey: Miss Wendy CLARK, 97 Faraday Street, Carlton, 3053. 

Microscopical: Mr. M. H. MEYER, 36 Milroy St., East Brighton. (96 3268.) 


Membership of the F.N.C.V. is open to any person interested in natural history. 
The Victorian Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and 
lending library is available and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the 
several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Rates of Subscriptions for 1975 


Joint Metropolitan 

Joint Retired Members 

Country Subscribers, and Retired Persons over 65 

Joint Country 


Subscriptions to Vict. Nat. . . 

Overseas Subscription 

Junior with "Naturalist" 

Individual Magazines 

All subscriptions should be made payable to the Field Naturalist Club of Victoria and posted to 
the Subscription Secretary. 














Morch' April, 197 

Published by the 

in which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria ^v( 

Category "B" 
Registered in Australia for transmission by post as a periodical 


At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra. 
Monday, 10 May (7.55 p.m.) — Extraordinary Meeting. 

Business: Application for Affiliation by St. Arnaud and District Historical Society. 

Monday, 10 May (8.00 p.m.) — Annual General Meeting. 

Business: Minutes of 1975 Annual General Meeting to be read. 
Receive Report of Council. 

Receive Balance Sheet and Statement of Receipts and Expenditure. 
Elect Council (President, Vice-President and 10 Members of Council). 
Elect Office Bearers. 


Monday, 12 April (8.00 p.m.) — 

Speaker — Miss Doery. 

Subject — "A Naturalists Journey" (Darwin to Perth). 

Monday, 14 June (8.00 p.m.) — 

Speaker — Mr. Ian Morrison. 
Subject — "Nature Walkabout". 
New Members — Elected March General Meeting: 

Miss G. Flood, Unit 7/8 Hepburn Street, Hawthorn, 3122. 

Miss M. B. Lock, 9 Norfolk Road, Surrey Hills, 3127. 

Miss L. P. Robertson, 155 Prospect Hill Road, Canterbury, 3126. 

Mr. John Wainer, 241 Dandenong Road, Windsor, 3181 (Mammals and Botany). 

Mr. Colin Kitchen and Mrs. Phyllis Kitchen, 91 Berkley Street, Hawthorn, 3122. 

Dr. J. A. Ferguson, 5 Mossman Drive, Heidelberg, 3084. 

Mr. K. Todd, 93 Melwood Avenue, Killarney Heights, N.S.W., 2087. 

New Members — April General Meeting: 

Mr. Roger Pech, 1-3 Non-Collegiate Flats, Monash University, Clayton, 3168. 
Miss Helen J. Gordon, 7 Gaynor Court, Malvern, 3144. 
Miss Josephine Kenrick, 90 Adeney Avenue, Kew, 3101. 
Mr. Bruce Waixel, 25 Santon Street, Greensborough, 3088. 

Mr. Keith M. Brown, 176 Liverpool Road, Kilsyth, 3137. 


Friday, 16 April -Monday, 19 April (Easter) — Beechworth. At the time of writing, 
this excursion is very poorly booked and it may be necessary to modify the trip 
unless there is an increase in numbers; if there is any alteration, members who 
have booked will be notified. Accommodation was not available in Beechworth 
itself and has been booked in Wangaratta with the intention of making day trips 
to Beechworth and district. 

Sunday, 16 May — Fungi Excursion to be led by Dr. J. H. Willis. The destination 
will probably be in the Dandenongs but will depend to some extent upon the 
weather. The coach will leave Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m. — fare $4.50 (bring 
a picnic lunch). 

Sunday, 20 June — Keith Turnbull Research Station, Frankston. Details next issue. 

Saturday, 21 August -Sunday, 5 September — New South Wales. Should sufficient 
members be interested, there will be an excursion to New South Wales, taking 
three days to reach Cronulla, where the party will stay until 27 August, 1976, 
then proceeding to Gosford and staying there until 2 September, 1976, when the 
return journey will begin. Accommodation, hotel and motel, mostly room only, 
and coach fare would be approximately $265.00 plus meals. Please let the 
Excursion Secretary know as soon as possible if you are interested. 

(Continued on page 79) 
38 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 




Vol. 93, No. 2 

Editor: M. J. Lester. 

Editorial Committee: 

Reuben Kent, Roland Myers, 

Brian Smith (chairman), Grif Ward. 


Feeding Habits of some Australian 
Short-necked Tortoises. 

By John M. Legler 40 

Tortoise Care. 

By Susan Beattie 43 

FNCV Grampians and Little Desert Tour. 

By Elizabeth K. Turner 47 

The Broad-toothed Rat still in 
Sherbrooke Forest. 

By H. Brunner, I. D. Bertuch 55 

The Broad-toothed Rat. 

By J. H. Seebeck 56 

Upper Devonian bones near Genoa. 
By B. Stainforth, A. J. Alston, 
D. J. Bennett, A. Camilleri 

First record of Scorpaenid Fish. 

By Peter A. Morgenroth 62 

Gall Flies. 

By Ken Strong 64 

First record of Rice Cut Grass. 

By Margaret G. Corrick 67 

Generic Names of Victorian Flora. 

By James A. Baines 68 

A Plague of Crickets. 

By Joan Forster 70 

The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria: 

Diary of Coming Events 38, 79 

The Editorial Committee 71 

Reports of Meetings 71 

Financial Report for 1975 73 

Cover illustration is the Short-necked 
Tortoise Elseya dentata; see page 41. 
Photo: E. R. Rotherham by courtesy the 
National Museum of Victoria. 

Grif Ward has been editor of this journal 
for ten years and is certainly due for a 
break. We on this Editorial Committee are 
only just beginning to realise the complexity 
and time-consuming nature of his work. 

Many nights each month must have been 
spent checking manuscripts, photographs and 
drawings on a variety of natural history sub- 
jects, and marking them with the instructions 
necessary for the printer; then more nights 
after proofs were received and he pasted 
them in the page form as a final guide to 
the printer. No sooner was one issue pub- 
lished than he was preparing material for 
the next. How he fitted in this 'spare time 
activity' for ten years is truly remarkable, 
and we express the appreciative thanks of all 
Club members and readers. 

With Mr. Ward's long service in mind, 
perhaps it is not surprising that we have not 
been inundated with offers to replace him. 
Finally, Madge Lester volunteered but is 
emphatic that it is for one year only. 

We should not expect an editor to con- 
tinue for years and we now recognise that 
this Editorial Committee must be permanent, 
but, of course, with changing personnel over 
the years. Such a committee can help lighten 
the load of an incoming editor should he 
wish it, and we hope it will eventually pro- 
vide a pool of experienced persons who can 
relieve an editor for holidays or in an emer- 
gency. Please turn to page 71 for further 
information about this Committee. 

In 1976 there will be only six issues of 'The 
Victorian Naturalist'. This is due to economic 
reasons, but it makes our job a little easier 
than the 12-a-year that Mr. Ward produced. 
Nevertheless, we plan to increase the size of 
each issue, as evidenced by this one. 

Editorial Committee. 



Feeding Habits of some 
Australian Short-necked Tortoises 

John M. Legler* 

Short-necked chelid feeding 

The dietary habits of turtles are 
poorly known in general but there is 
an acute dearth of knowledge for 
Australian chelids. Observations of 
turtles feeding under natural con- 
ditions are rare even in well-studied 
groups. The following observations re- 
sult from 19 months of fieldwork in 
Australia (December 1972-July 1974). 

Emydura: Surface feeding 

Belkin and Gans (1968) described 
an unusual feeding behaviour for 
Podocnemis unifilis in which indi- 
viduals were observed to skim parti- 
culate matter from the surface of the 
water and then to evacuate excess 
water from the pharynx in "a crude 
process of filtration" before swallow- 
ing. They termed this behaviour 
"neustophagia" and reported it also 
(to varying degrees) in Chrysemys 
picta and Podocnemis expansa. 

The following observations are for 
Emydura sp. under natural con- 
ditions at Kookabookra, N.S.W. (30° 
01', 152° 03' 30", elev. 1000m) on 
2 December 1973. The feeding be- 
haviour observed is similar to the 
neustophagia described by Belkin and 
Gans. Turtles were observed in bilo- 
bate pool (70 x 20m x 5m deep) 
immediately adjacent to the Sara 
River; many such pools in the im- 
mediate area result from former gem- 

mining operations (abandoned for at 
least ten to fifteen years) . Populations 
of Emydura sp. and Chelodina longi- 
collis occur in both the river and the 
pools but are denser in the pools. This 
locality is the highest at which Emy- 
dura has been recorded in Australia. 

An adult male was observed with 
7 x 50 binoculars at a distance of 10m 
for approximately one hour at mid- 
day (and was seemingly unaware of 
my presence). Its activities were con- 
fined to the area of a 15m equilateral 
triangle. The turtle cruised about 
slowly and almost continuously at or 
just beneath the surface for the entire 

When feeding, the turtle appeared 
to be taking a bite of the surface of 
the water. After each bite it sub- 
merged the head, expelled bubbles 
(and presumably pharyngeal water) 
from the nostrils and then swallowed 
(as judged by throat movements). 
This sequence was repeated 8 to 10 
times, followed by a brief rest, then 
begun again. Sequences of feeding 
often alternated with shallow under- 
water cruising during which the neck 
was fully extended and moved from 
side to side as in circumspection. 
Underwater feeding did not occur 
during the period of observation. 

During the cruising associated with 

♦Department of Biology 

University of Utah 

Salt Lake City, Utah 84112 U.S.A.* 


Department of Zoology 

University of New England 

Armidale, N.S.W. 2351 



Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

surface feeding, the turtle moved the 
head from side to side, often altered 
course, and often directed its bites to 
one side or the other. In most in- 
stances the target of these bites could 
not be discerned. In a few instances 
(ca., 20) it was clear that the turtle 
saw, pursued, and bit at water-striding 
arthropods; the animals escaped by a 
comfortable margin in all these cases. 
Although the biting behaviour was 
essentially the same for the arthropods 
as for the unseen objects, I feel that 
the targets were different. The cir- 
cumspection and the direction of bites 
at unknown targets strongly suggest 
visible orientation to motile prey. 

At any given time during the ob- 
servations, ten or more Emydura 
could be seen at or near the surface 
of the pond; most were adult males. 
These turtles cruised about and dived 
out of sight repeatedly; none engaged 
in the surface feeding behaviour al- 
luded to above. Ten days later, baited 
traps set in the same pond caught a 
total of 14 Emydura sp. (4$ 9$, 1 
im) in 12 hours. 

Neustophagia was never observed 
again in nature or in captivity; how- 
ever, no effort was made to determine 
its frequency since the initial obser- 

I observed neustophagia repeatedly 
in a captive of Podocnemis unifilis at 
the University of Utah (almost pre- 
cisely as described by Belkin and 
Gans). The behaviour here described 
for Emydura differs from P. unifilis in 
being much less delicate and in in- 
volving almost constant forward 
movement, a definite forward lunge 
with each bite, probable visual orien- 
tation, and a body position nearly 
parallel with the surface. In general 
the neustophagia of Emydura seems 
to be intermediate between that of 
P. unifilis and the "apparently in- 
effective biting" of P. expansa de- 
scribed by Belkin and Gans. 

Elseya dentata: Fig feeding 

The following observations were 
made from a boat on the Gregory 
River approximately 8 km upstream 
from Gregory Downs Homestead, 
Queensland (18° 40', 139° 12', elev. 
100m) on 10-13 May 1974. At this 
point the river is approximately 30m 
wide, 3-6m deep and the current is 
slow. At the time of these observa- 
tions the water was slightly murky 
and the level was still falling after the 
wet season. Gallery forest consisted of 
Pandanus in dense clumps and mixed 
larger trees. Among the latter were a 
few figs (Ficus sp. — nr. ehretioides) . 
Pandanus limbs projecting into the 
water and many tangles of deadwood 
created favourable habitat for Emy- 
dura aust rails and Elseya dentata. 

Approximately one hour before 
dusk on 10 May our attention was at- 
tracted to a disturbance on the sur- 
face within a tangle of deadwood. 
From a distance this appeared to be 
a small fishing float being pulled vio- 
lently beneath the water and then re- 
leased. Closer examination revealed 
the object to be a fig approximately 
35mm in diameter. There was a fig 
tree directly overhead. Since we had 
not been aware of figs anywhere on 
this stretch of the river, it was as- 
sumed that fruit had just begun to 

By approaching the area quietly to 
a distance of about 3m we could 
clearly discern that the disturbance 
was caused by several small (200- 
220mm carapace length) Elseya den- 
tata chasing figs on the surface. The 
figs were much larger than any of 
these turtles could take into its mouth. 
A turtle would approach a fig, bite at 
it, and send it scooting forward (or 
attempt to submerge with it and have 
it pop immediately to the surface), 
much in the manner of small children 
bobbing for large apples. Turtles were 

March /April 


crawling over the backs of other 
turtles in their zeal to get at the figs. 
They were so engrossed in this activity 
that we were able to catch three 
specimens by hand (the species is 
usually very shy). A large female 
(325mm) was later caught in a trap 
baited with figs at this spot. 

Most specimens of E. dentata from 
this locality had figs in their stomachs. 
Size of the figs (or pieces thereof) was 
directly proportional to size of turtle; 
the largest specimens contained some 
whole figs and many that had been 
bitten into two or three pieces. 

On subsequent evenings figs could 
be seen in abundance and we observed 
figs being eaten beneath several trees 
that were dropping fruit. Most figs 
disappeared in a small swirl soon after 
hitting the water and without reveal- 
ing the identity of the feeding animal. 
Tn several instances where no fruit 
was floating beneath a laden tree, we 
threw figs there to simulate fruit drop- 
ping from a tree. These figs dis- 
appeared as described above. Several 
E. dentata were captured by embed- 
ding a long-shank hook in a fig and 
casting it with a fishing rod beneath a 
fig tree where we had seen turtles. In 
all cases the fig was pulled suddenly 
but gently beneath the surface almost 
immediately (the process was remi- 
niscent of a large trout taking a fly). 
We think turtles ate most of the 
figs we saw taken and that most of 
these turtles were Elseya dentata; we 
found figs in only one of the Emydura 
australis dissected at Gregory Downs. 
The behaviour described suggests that 
Elseya congregate beneath laden trees 
and actually wait for figs to drop at 
certain times of the day. Fig eating 
was common only in late afternoon 
and it was our impression that signifi- 
cantly more fruit was dropping then 
than at any other time of the day. 

At another locality in the Northern 
Territory (East Baines River, near 

Auvergne, 130° 03', 15° 47') the 
water was clear enough for snorkeling 
and we could clearly see and catch 
Elseya dentata as they moved about in 
tangles of deadwood and beneath 
undercut banks. In the late morning 
I cautiously approached and explored 
the area beneath a laden fig tree. 
Although there was abundant sign 
that figs had been eaten (pieces of fig 
on bottom) there were no turtles near 
the tree at that time. 

The only other turtle species ob- 
tained or observed in the Gregory 
River was Emydura australis (Chelo- 
dina rugosa occurs there but chiefly 
in non-fluviatile habitats) . Detailed 
analyses of gut contents for all Aus- 
tralian chelids will appear elsewhere, 
but the following generalities are of 
interest. All populations of Elseya 
dentata studied were herbivorous, 
although they could be attracted with 
meat or fish bait and regularly ate 
these foods in captivity. At Gregory 
Downs (and elsewhere in northern 
Australia) Emydura australis is an op- 
portunistic omnivore with carnivorous 
tendencies. Both species at Gregory 
Downs were eating Pandanus fruits; 
only one Emydura contained figs. 
Small molluscs were the commonest 
and most abundant item in E. aus- 
tralis guts; molluscs were never found 
in E. dentata guts. 

The exploitation of windfalls as an 
opportunistic feeding niche is prob- 
ably of general occurrence in diverse 
groups of turtles, but it has been men- 
tioned only a few times in the litera- 
ture: Antillean species of Pseudemys 
(Barbour and Carr, 1940); Trionyx 
triunguis (Loveridge and Williams, 
1957); Carettochelys insculpta 

(Schodde et al., 1972); Terrapene 
ornata (Legler, 1960); Pseudemys 
scrip ta (Moll and Legler, 1971). I 
have observed figs dropping into the 
Rio Chagres in Panama and being 
taken almost immediately in a man- 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

ner similar to that described for E. 
dentata. I have also removed large 
succulent fruits (unidentified) from 
the stomachs of large snapping turtles 
(Chelydra acutirostris) taken on Es- 
cudo de Yeraguas Island, Panama. It 
seems likely that, in Elseya dentata 
and in at least some of the other 
aforementioned species, the exploita- 
tion of windfalls involves some learn- 
ing (rather than chance alone) . 

The research in Australia was sup- 
ported partly by the Allegheny Foun- 
dation Fund for Animal Behavior 
Studies (Carnegie Museum of Natural 
History, Pittsburg, Pa.) and the Ian 
Potter Foundation (Melbourne). I am 
grateful to J. J. Bull and A. F. Legler 
for their sharp eyes and other assis- 
tance in the field. 

Literature Cited 

Barbour, T., and A. F. Carr, Jr. 1940. 
Antillean terrapins. Mem. Mus. Comp. 
Zool., 54 (5): 381-415, 9 pis. 

Belkin, D. A., and C. Gans. 1968. An 
unusual chelonian feeding niche Eco- 
logy, 49: 768-9. 

Legler, J. M. 1960. Natural history of 
the ornate box turtle, Terrapene 
omata ornata Agassiz. Univ. Kansas 
Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist., 11 (10): 527- 

Loveridge, A., and E. E. Williams. 1957. 
Revision of the African tortoises and 
turtles of the suborder Cryptodira. 
Bull. Mus. Comp. Zoo., 115 (6): 
166-557, 18 pis. 

Moll, E. O., and J. M. Legler. 1971. The 
life history of a Neotropical slider 
turtle, Pseudemys script a (Schoepff) 
in Panama. Bull. Los Angeles Co. 
Mus. Nat. Hist., no. 11., 102 pp. 

Schodde, R., I. Mason, and T. O. Wolfe. 
1972. Further records of the pitted- 
shelled turtle (Carettochelys imculpta) 
from Australia. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust., 
96 (2): 115-117. 

Tortoise Care 

by Susan Beattie * 

This article was prepared in view 
of the many requests to the Fisheries 
and Wildlife Division for information 
on the care of tortoises held in 


Three species of freshwater tortoises 
occur in Victoria. All are Pleurodires 
(necks retract sideways) and are 
members of the family Chelidae. The 
species are Chelodina longicollis 
(Shaw 1793), C. expansa (Gray 1856) 
and E my dura macquari (Cuvier 


In Victoria, the species C. longi- 
collis occurs over the whole of the 
State, and C. expansa and E. macquari 
inhabit areas in the northern and 
western part of the Murray River 

General appearance 

Many differences and similarities in 
morphology occur in individuals of 

* Fisheries and Wildlife Division, 

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental 

Research, Victoria. 



the same species at different stages of 
their growth and in different species 
of the same or related genus (Goode 
1968). The young of C. longicollis 
have small red or orange spots which 
change to bone colour at about three 
months of age. The adult C. longicollis 
has a shell length of up to 254 mm 
and is distinguished by its long neck 
and by the emission of an exception- 
ally strong odour, hence the common 
names \snake-neck , or 'stinkcr\ This 

species is capable of lifting its head 
high above the shell. The neck is 
covered with black skin bearing fine 
pointed tubercles, and from the rear 
the two hindmost marginal shields on 
the carapace form an inverted 'V 

The species C. cxpansa is the largest 
o\ the three, with its shell exceeding 
384 mm in length. It is distinguished 
by its long neck covered with fine, 
olive-coloured wrinkled skin and 

Structures o[ 

Emydura macquari: (a) Tubercles on neck; (f) Plastron (underside of shell). 

Chelodina expansa: (b) Wrinkles on neck; (d) Plastron. 

Chelodina longicollis: (c) Tubercles on neck; (e) Plastron; (g) Rear view o\' shell 

showing inverted "V 1 shape. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

when walking, adults never raise the 
top of their head above the rim of 
the carapace; the bottom of the neck 
frequently touches the ground (Goode 
1968). The hindmost marginal shields 
of the carapace project downward be- 
low the general line. Because of its 
broad shell it is commonly known as 
the 'broad-shelled tortoise'. 

The species E. macquari, common- 
ly known as the Murray snake-necked 
tortoise, is identified by its short neck 
and oval-shaped shell, the width of 
the front being almost equal to that 
of the rear. Its shell length exceeds 
300 mm. 

Sex determination 

Most of the sex determining 
features do not appear until the tor- 
toise is mature. Emydura macquari 
male is immediately recognizable by 
the length and thickness of its tail. 
In Chelodina species it is almost im- 
possible to determine the sex, and 
captive females often lay fertile eggs 
without apparent contact with a male. 
The female can retain sperm from a 
mating in the wild for a period of 
four years. Normally the female 
comes ashore to nest, but if unable to 
do so, will lay eggs in water where 
the embryos suffocate. 


Kept indoors at room temperature 
the tortoise will not hibernate and 
requires lighter feeding during the 
winter months. If kept outside C. 
longicollis occasionally comes ashore 
to burrow into earth, either beneath 
leaves or among the roots of trees or 
shrubs. Other species bury themselves 
in mud beneath the water, taking 
oxygen from the water. Care should 
be taken not to disturb the tortoise 
during this period as shock may kill it. 


In the natural environment, tor- 

toises feed on snails, small fish, worms 
and tadpoles. Lean meat fed daily in 
summer and twice weekly in winter 
is a good substitute but it is impor- 
tant that uneaten food should be re- 
moved from the tank to avoid fouling 
of the water. Tortoises should be fed 
in water as the structure of the neck 
makes it impossible to pick up food 
from the ground. As small quantities 
of water flora are also consumed, 
water lilies or floating plants and 
weeds serve both as food, and water 
cleaners. The diet should also contain 
relatively large amounts of calcium 
(see Health problems — Soft Shell). 
Growth rate is quicker during the im- 
mature stages and is conditioned by 
the amount of food consumed. Shell 
distortion can occur through over- 
feeding as the organs of the body 
grow faster than the shell. 

Garden Pond 

After 2-3 years the tortoise may 
grow too big for the indoor tank, and 
an outside pond should be provided. 
An enclosure with walls about one 
metre high may be constructed from 
chicken-wire sunk 15 cm into the soil 
to prevent tortoises burrowing out. 
The enclosure should be well-shaded 
especially in summer by shrubs and 
aquatic plants, which will provide 
shelter as well as food. Before intro- 
ducing the tortoise or other aquatic 
species into new concrete ponds, the 
ponds should have been filled with 
water for three weeks, or coated with 
a liquid and powder mix to seal in 
harmful chemicals (available from 
Nonporite Pty. Ltd.) 

Health Problems 

In their natural habitat tortoises 
regularly bask in the sun either float- 
ing on the water surface or basking 
on the bank. Warm, not hot, sunlight 
is the best cure for most health 
problems. The tortoise should be left 



in the sun for several hours each day, 
but not prevented from returning to 
the water. Only if sunlight treatment 
fails to cure complaints should medi- 
cation be applied. 

1. Soft shell, the most common 
complaint, is the result o( insufficient 
sunlight. Large amounts of calcium 
should be included in the diet. Only 
alter sunlight treatment has been tried 
should soluable calcium lactate (ob- 
tainable from chemists) be applied to 
the tank once a month in sufficient 
quantity to cover a 10c coin. 

2. Alj»iil growth on the shell is a 
natural condition and is not a health 

3. Bacterial or fungus infections 
may appear on the shell or body. The 
tortoise should be given daily salt 
baths (i teaspoonful o! table salt to 
one measuring cup full o[ hike warm 
water) lor 15 minutes each day over 
2 weeks or until the infection dis- 
appears. If the tortoise emerges from 
its hibernation with fungus, leave it 
in the sun for 1 \ hours, then apply 
k Magical Fungus Cure' obtainable 
from aquarium shops. 

4. Cuts and bites may be cleaned 
with a swab o( common antiseptic 
(Mercurochrome should not be used). 

5. Moulting of shell plates occurs 
at regular intervals and is not a health 

6. Holes should never be drilled 
into the tortoise shell to secure it as 
the shell is living tissue. 

7. Painting the shell will restrict 
shell growth and may even kill the 

8. Plastral sores on the lower shell 
are usually caused by rough sub- 
stratum. Rough rocks should be re- 
placed by smooth ones, and concrete 
should be covered with sand and 
pebbles. Treat sores as 'cuts'. 

9. Swollen eyes are a result of poor 
living conditions and diet. Begin with 
salt treatment and check diet. 

I wish to thank Dr D. Evans for 
reading the draft, Mr J. Alderson and 
members oi the freshwater section for 
their assistance in many ways. 


Baxter. J., 1974. Pools add interest to a 
garden, 'Your Garden'. 

Cogger, H., l c >7>. Reptiles and Amphibians 
o\' Australia, A. H. Reed Pty. Ltd., Syd- 
ney, Australia. 

Goode, J., 1965. Freshwater Tortoises m 
Victoria, 'Vie. Nat.', Vol. 82, pp. 169-175, 

1966. Notes on the Artificial Incubation 
of Eggs of Victorian Chelid Tortoises. 
'Vie. Nat/, Vol. 83, pp. 280-286. 

1967. Freshwater Tortoises of Australia 
and New Guinea. Lansdowne Press, Mel- 
bourne, Australia, 154 pp., 139 pi., 8 figs. 

1968. Morphological Variations in Vie- 
torian Tortoises. 'Vie. Nat.', Vol. 85, pp. 

Worrell, E., 1963. Reptiles of Australia. 
Aniuis and Robertson, Sydney, Australia. 

New Officers at Ringwood Field Naturalists Club 

President: Mr. W. King (phone 876 1298). 
Past-President: Mr. J. Hyett (874 1880). 
I r ice-President: 

Mr. E. Schurmann (870 6978). 
Treasurer: Mr. A. Wallbridge (874 4905). 
Secretary: Mr. D. Thomas (870 7229). 
Committee Members: 

Miss C. Gray (735 5103). 

Mr. (i. Coutts (723 3001). 
Mr. A. Gaines (725 0041). 
Mr. R. French. 
Mr. C. Compton, 

Junior Club Leader: 

Mr. B. Fuhrer (870 3405). 

Junior Secretary: Miss C. Gray (735 5103). 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

FNCV Grampians and Little Desert Tour 
17-22 October, 1975 

by Elizabeth K. Turner 

with assistance from Elsie Costermans (eucalypts), 

Dorothy Dawson (birds) , 

Ian Morrison, Ercil Webb-Ware and Laura White (botany) 

and others. 

The Grampians 

Although the huge sandstone 
masses of the Grampians with its 
weathering and erosion of the original 
Devonian sediments were visible from 
the bus windows as escarpments, dip 
slopes and etched out rock forma- 
tions, the forays of the 37 enthusiastic 
persons in our party were mainly con- 
fined to the non-architectural, non- 
spectacular, non-tourist infested areas; 
mostly the low weathered hills and 
sand plains, where we found in pro- 
fusion some of the 1,000 or more 
vascular plants which are known to 
grow in that area. 

After lunch at Lake Bolac, where 
we observed pelicans in flight and a 
white egret also, we heard the song 
and caught glimpses of the elusive 
reed warbler (Aerocephalus australis) 
and were observed by a little falcon. 
Then we entered into this vast area 
of Western Victoria via Dunkeld at 
the southern end. Here, massive sedi- 
ments of quartzose sandstone inter- 
bedded with thin layers of siltstone 
were deposited some 400 million years 
ago, to be folded, faulted and 
weathered into the shapes now known 
as the Grampians. We interupted a 
family of cock and hen emu with ten 
striped chicks and saw a flight of 
straw-necked ibis, and conspicuous 
beside the road were scattered deep 
blue patches of tinsel lily {Calectasia 
cyanea). By the time we had reached 
our motel at Halls Gap, we had 

counted 35 wallabies, numerous 
koalas (some with babies) and also a 
couple of stumpy tails (Trachysaurus 
rugosus) crossing the road. 

Next day we joined with the West- 
ern Victorian Field Naturalists Clubs 
Association for a visit to Barbican 
Rocks in the Mt William range. Our 
leader, Ian McCann of the Stawell 
Club, said that this area was the 
oldest and most eroded of all the 
Grampians sediments. In brilliant sun- 
shine, we inspected along the old 
flume line which was an aquaduct 
formerly conveying the water supply 
for Stawell north to the tunnel 
through the Mt William range. The 
freely draining rocky slopes above the 
south side of Redman's road carried 
very little plant nutriment, but thick 
beds of moss, in which grew the 
dwarfed hooded trigger-plant (Sty- 
lidium calcaratum) in a startling pink 
colour alongside the lilac fairies 
aprons (Utricularia dichotoma), 
Eucalyptus alpina (the Grampians 
gum) and the Leptospermum nit id urn 
(the shining tea-tree) grew on the 
exposed scarps. 

After lunch, we walked around 
the southern end of Lake Fyans 
where the outstanding botanical 
features were orchids, the commonest 
being Caladenia carnea (pink fingers), 
rabbit ears (Thelymitra antennifera) 
and the wax-lip (Glossodia major). 
Some of the members of the Bendigo 
Field Naturalists Club took some con- 



vincing that Thelymitra macmillanii 
could be salmon pink and not crimson. 
Thelymitra carnea, Thelymitra rubra 
and Thelymitra luteocilium were also 
seen. One of the most exciting finds 
for the day was the pigmy club moss 
(Phylloglossum drummondii) ; this 
diminutive single member of its genus 
was not previously recorded at this 
site. Dodencea procumbens (the trail- 
ing hop bush) was a new find for most 
of us. Birds observed here included 
the black-fronted dotterel (Charadrius 
melanops), a rainbow bird (Merops 
ornatus), a hooded robin (Petroiea 
cucullata) and the white-winged triller 
{Lalage sueurii). 

In the evening, Mr W. Davis led 
the discussion amongst a large audi- 
ence in the Halls Gap hall on the 
Aims and Policies of the Australian 
Conservation Foundation. 

The following day was overcast and 
we were taken along a stand track east 
of the Mt Difficult Pine Plantation 
Picnic Ground to an open forest area 
consisting mainly of brown stringy 
bark {Eucalyptus baxterii), where it 
was almost impossible not to stand on 
fragile orchid blooms such was their 
profusion. Here we recorded: Onion 
orchids (Microtis) , Calochilus robert- 
sonii (purplish beard), Thelymitra 
carnea (pink sun-orchid), T. macmil- 
lanii (crimson sun-orchid), T. anten- 
nifera (rabbit ears) , T. ixiodes (dotted 
sun-orchid), T. rubra (salmon sun- 
orchid), T. luteo-cilium; Acianthus 
reniformis (mosquito orchid), Caleana 
major (large duck orchid); Caladenia 
menziesii (hare orchid), C. dilatata 
(green-comb spider orchid), C. fila- 
mentosa (daddy long-legs), C. angus- 
tata (musky caladenia), C. cucullata 
(hooded caladenia), C. iridescens 
(bronze caladenia), C. carnea (pink 
fingers); Glossodia major (wax-lip 
orchid), Diuris maculata (leopard 
orchid), D. longifolia (wallflower 
orchid) ; Pterostylis nutans (nodding 

greenhood), P. nana (dwarf green- 

In defence of the pine plantation 
which had been planted 36 years pre- 
viously, Mr Ian McCann mentioned 
that koalas had been observed eating 
pine needles, and that morels and 
other fungi grew in abundance be- 
neath the trees, whilst flame and scar- 
let robins nested in the pines. For 
many of us, it was the first time we 
had found laxmannia (the wire lily) 
in flower, many of the flowers were 
pink; both species were seen (Lax- 
mannia sessiliflora and gracilis). 

The parrot family is well repre- 
sented in the Grampians and we ob- 
served flocks of long-billed corellas, 
galah, crimson and eastern rosellas, 
gang-gang and sulphur-crested cocka- 
toos, red-rumped parrots and the 
yellow-tailed black cockatoo. 

On Sunday night 19 October, thun- 
der storms occured and Monday 
morning was wet, windless and cold. 
McKenzie Falls were in spate and 
were worth the damp walk to the 
viewing spot, but we were grateful for 
hot scones and tea at Grant Taylor's 
home beyond Zumsteins. Half a mile 
further north on the Horsham Road, 
a walk was made to inspect the Mont- 
rose Environmental Groups native 
plants garden; here we saw the old 
bridge of the original route to Ade- 
laide for conveying the gold from the 
diggings at Pleasant Creek (Stawell). 

During the afternoon, a visit was 
made to the Wimmera Forest Nursery 
at Wail where the trees and shrubs 
were all correctly named and labelled, 
which was such a help to aspiring 
botanists! We noted the prolific bird 
life encouraged by the oasis of so 
many native trees. For instance, we 
saw the purple-crowned lorikeet 
(Glossopsetta porphyrocephala), the 
little wattle-bird (Anthochaera chry- 
soptera) and the diamond flretail 
(Emblema guttata). 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Nhill, the Little Desert 
and Mt Arapiles 

The greater part of the road south 
from Nhill to Gymbowen (48 km) 
runs in a straight line through the 
Little Desert, dissecting the eastern 
one-third from the western two-thirds 
of this well-vegetated, well-watered, 
sandy area formed mainly of sand 
blown across many thousands of years 
ago from South Australia. Often the 
road cuts through sand dunes con- 
taining lateritic sandstone and running 
for the most part in an east-west 
direction throughout the approximate 
60 miles east-west length of the desert. 
On these dunes we discovered some 
of our most exciting flora and avi- 
fauna, the latter included the southern 
scrub-robin (Drymodes brunneo- 
pygia), the shy heath wren (Hylacola 
cauta), the superb blue wren (Malu- 

rus cyaneus) and the purple backed 
wren (Malurus assimilis). Also the 
tawny-crowned and the white-fronted 
honeyeaters, and very numerous 
yellow-winged honeyeaters. 

In conjunction with brown stringy 
bark (Eucalyptus baxterii) , there were 
several malices, the yellow (E. incras- 
sata), the green (E. viridis) and the 
narrow-leaf red (E. foecunda). We 
also discovered patches of bull mallee 
(E. behriana) and dumosa. The pale 
green foliage of the desert banksia 
(Banksia ornata) was conspicuous, 
but the flower cones were mostly grey 
and withered. The most prolific colour 
was the creamy-pink clusters of the 
fringe myrtle (Calytrix tetragona) 
interspersed with patches of golden 
pennants (Loudonia behrii), unusually 
yellow candles (Stackhousia viminea) 
(plate I) and the yellow of the acacia 

Plate 1 : 

Yellow candles, 


Photo: I. Morrison 



flowers such as the wallowa (Acacia 

Near clay pan areas and swamps 
which were filled with water, we were 
delighted with the cyclamen pink 
blooms of Melaleuca wilsonii and the 
pea-green low bushes of Melaleuca 
neglecta. There were patches of bright 
blue Dampiera lanceolata and some 
scarlet mint-bush (Prostanthera aspa- 
lathoides), while various shades of 
yellow were supplied by at least four 
species of guinea flower (Hibbertia 
fasiculata, stricta, virgata and sericea) . 

Especially delightful discoveries 

Plate 2: 
Pink zieria, 
Zieria veronica. 

Photo: I. Morrison 

were pink zieria (Ziera veronicea) 
with citronella-scented leaves (plate 
2), small leafed waxflower (Erioste- 
mon difformis), yellow Phebalium 
stenophyllum, blue spike milkwort 
(Comesperma calymega), flax-leaved 
logania (Logania lini folia) and 
several varieties of orchids, as well as 
the diminutive rosettes of the flannel 
cudweed (Actinobole uliginosum), 
and a peculiarly unattractive-looking 
plant with tiny ruddy wheel-like 
flowers which became fascinating 
when viewed through the lens; this 
was the wheel-fruit (Gyrostemon aus- 

Plate 3 : 

From Mt A ra piles 
looking north-west 
over Mitre Rock 
to the Little Desert. 
Photo: I. Morrison 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

tralasicus) . 

Surprising plant associations were 
the dense spiney porcupine grass 
(Triodia irritans) and the flowering 
grey mulga {Acacia brachybotria), 
both real desert plants growing quite 
close to plants such as the lilac 
tinged sweet apple-berry (Billardiera 
cymosa) , the shrub violet (Hybanthus 
ftoribundus) and blue herons-bill 
(Erodium cygnorum) , and the deli- 
cate lilac eye-bright (Euphrasia 
collina) . 

At Gymbowen, we turned east past 
the drab little stone cairn in memory 
of Jane Duff, the 12-year-old girl who 
in 1864 was sent by her mother with 
her two younger brothers to collect 
broom-brush (probably Melaleuca un- 
cinata); they became lost and lived 
for nine days in the bush before they 
were found. One of our party, Nancy 
Carstairs, remembers Jane as a very 

old Mrs Turnbull who came to talk to 
the children at the Natimuk school 
and to show them the little frock that 
she wore during the adventure. At the 
foot of the cairn, there was a flourish- 
ing bush of black nightshade (Sol- 
arium negrum). 

We had lunch near the summit of 
Mt Arapiles where the vegetation is 
just recovering after the disastrous 
bushfires of two years ago (plate 3). 
Here there were clusters of violet 
fairy-fan-flower (Sccevola aemula); 
also the blue grass-lily (C&sia vittata), 
chocolate lilies (Dichopogon strictus) 
and the nodding blue lily (Stypandra 
glauca) in abundance. Eristemon ver- 
rucosus (the fairy wax flower) was 
blooming, and near the rocky sum- 
mit was a fine display of golden ever- 
lastings (Helichrisum bracteatum). 

During a walk along the road in the 
Little Desert area on our return 


|W MR' 



Plate 4: 
Salt lake in the 
Little Desert. 
Pink fringe-myrtle, 
Calytric tetragona 
in foreground. 
Photo: Author 

* : ' *J* 



journey, we were fortunate to witness 
the golden whistler (Pachycephala pic- 
tor al is) nesting in the low branches of 
a melaleuca, also a hooded robin 
(Petroica cucullata). 

That evening the Nhill Senior 
Citizens allowed us to use their fine 
club-rooms to view some colour slides 
taken and shown by Mr Ray Reichelt, 
who runs the Little Desert Tours. We 
had a chance to meet some of the 
Senior Citizens at a fine supper after- 

Kiata and Wimmera River 

Wednesday, 22 October dawned 
clear and cloudless and this day may 
have been the highlight of the trip for 
most of us. Firstly, we drove to the 
Kiata Lowan Reserve picnic area and 
followed the Nature Trail beside the 
yellow gums (Eucalyptus leucoxylon), 
wattles, slaty she-oaks (Casuarina 
muelleriana) and cypress pines (Calli- 
tris rhomboidea and preissii); one in- 
teresting bonus discovered here was a 
fine patch of adders' tongues (Ophio- 
glossum coriaccum). Here we ob- 
served the ring-necked mallee parrot 
(Bernardius barnadii) nesting in a 
hollow bough of a yellow gum. Other 
birds observed here were the wedge- 
tailed and the whistling eagle, numer- 

ous honeyeaters and the brown and 
white-throated tree creepers. The joy- 
ous paroxysms of song from the 
rufous and golden whistlers accom- 
panied us on our walk through the 
bush, and a rufous songlark was ob- 
served nesting and also heard calling 

Then, led by two National Park 
Rangers, Mr Keith Hately and col- 
league, we set off in Land Rovers, 
utility trucks and a couple of private 
cars over the sandy tracks south for 
approximately 1 1 miles, almost in the 
centre of the park, to a shallow salt 
lake filled with water, more saline to 
the taste than sea water (plate 4). 

After lunch, Keith Hately showed 
us the sandy mound with sealed en- 
trance and escape hole of the silkly 
desert mouse (Pseudomys albocine- 
reus) (plate 5). Pink Boronia pilosa 
grew in the most arid-looking areas in 
association with the porcupine grass 
and abundantly flowering Eutaxia 
microphylla, Aotus cricoidcs and 
Pimela sp. There were occasional 
bushes of blue Dam pier a lanceolata. 
Standing on the tray of the utility 
trucks as they mounted the sand hills, 
afforded us an extensive panorama of 
the Little Desert, at the same time as 
we brushed against the rather spikey 

Plate 5 : Silky desert mouse, Pseudomys cdbocinereus 

Photo: Authoi 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

dark green branches of Melaleuca 
wilsonii with it's beautiful cyclamen 
pink flowers. 

We detoured and walked along a 
cleared sandy track towards the west, 
where an enterprising mallee fowl 
(Leipoa ocellata) had recently built 
its characteristic mound of sticks 
from those which had been pushed 
aside when the track had been cleared, 
and of leaves, vegetable debris and 
sand. This being October, egg laying 
had commenced and we had a brief 
glimpse of a departing male bird who 
was forced by our presence to have a 
short respite from his arduous 
temperature-regulating duties at the 
incubator mound. Apparently, after 
preparing the mound, this hard- 
working bird begins his daily excava- 
tions and the temperature assessments 
in September using his beak and 
tongue, and must continue morning, 
noon and night, through until autumn 
to keep the heat of fermentation 
around the 33° C mark. The task 
seems rather thankless for after the 
nuggety chicks have struggled up 
through 70 or 80 cms of sand and 
rested briefly, they begin their inde- 
pendent existence in the bush at 
once and take no further interest in 
the parent birds, nor they in their off- 

spring! Although we waited a while 
with cameras poised, the male bird 
did not return for his photo. In a 
cleared paddock bordering the park 
we saw a flock of 25 emus. 

Next morning, Thursday, 23 Octo- 
ber, was overcast and rain occured in 
the afternoon. We travelled the Nhill 
to Jeparit road and at a stop near the 
Gerang-Gerung cross-roads, we in- 
vestigated a forest of black box 
(Eucalyptus largiflorens) and were de- 
lighted to find the turkey-bush (Myo- 
porum deserti) in full flower, also the 
nealie wattle (Acacia rig ens) and 
nearby the gold-dust wattle (Acacia 
acinacea) had corkscrew-like pods; 
also at this spot were small stands of 
weeping pittosporum (Pittosporum 
phillyreoides) and desert cassia (Cas- 
sia neminifolia var. zygophylla) in 
flower. In the grass under the bulokes 
(Casuarina luehmannii), bull-mallees 
(Eucalyptus behriana) and scrub- 
cypress pines (Callitris verrucosa) , we 
found the delicate blue broughton pea 
(Swainsona procumbens) and a 
mauve daisy (Br achy come sp.). 

The Wimmera River which rises so 
hopefully in the Grampians and is 
acutely diverted north at Natimuk 
along the lower east side of the Hind- 
marsh fault, a geographic monocline, 

Plate 6: 

Lake Hindmarsh 
in flood. 
Photo: Author 

March x April 


was flooded and threatening to breach 
the sandbagged barricades around the 
town of Jeparit. Lake Hindmarsh had 
extended its waters to waterlog some 
of the lovely river red gums {Euca- 
lyptus camaldulensis) growing near its 
banks (plate 6); in spite of all this 
volume of water, the Wimmera 
River never achieves union with the 
Murray in the north, but peters out 
in a series of shallow lakes extending 
along the red gum and box flats of 
Wyperfeld National Park area. 

Most of the party were unfamiliar 
with blue rod (Morgania glabra var. 
floribunda) which we found on the 
shores of Lake Hindmarsh; here also 
we found the violet coloured monkey 
flower (Mimulus re pens) and the 
austral hollyhock (Lavateria plebia), 
also the mallee bitter-bush (Adriana 
hooked), ruby saltbush (Euchylcena 
tomentosa) and wild tobacco (nico- 
tiana velutina) as well as the intro- 
duced tree tobacco. A real 'grand- 
father' echidna was seen in the sand- 
hills, judging by its enormous size. 
Here the rounded noon-flower (Dis- 
phyma autrale) was in flower and 
Acacia trine ur a (the three-nerved 
wattle and Acacia lingula (the small 
cooba) were found. A red-capped 
robin and a diamond firetail were seen 
in the melaleucas growing in the sand 

Water birds abounded, including 
the pied cormorant, the little and the 
hoary-headed grebe, black swan, 
black, musk and white-eyed ducks, 
chestnut-breasted shelduck, chestnut 
teal, dusky moorhen, eastern swamp 
hen and coot. 

The rain then terminated outdoor 
exploration so we finished with a visit 
to the Wimmera-Mallee Pioneer 
Museum at Jeparit where, amongst 
many interesting exhibits, there were 
photos of a fine-looking, former 
Jeparit storekeeper, James Menzies, 
father of the present Sir Robert. 


On the weather map, a large tropi- 
cal 'low' seemed to have descended 
from the north and we sped home 
through rain most of Friday, 24 Octo- 
ber. In fact, Melbourne received a 
flooding downpour co-inciding with 
our return and some of us uncere- 
moniously alighted from the bus in an 
unsheltered area of Flinders Street, 
only to find that the rain and the 
arrival of Princess Margaret seemed 
to have caused the disappearance of 
taxis from the streets. 

The harsh realities of the city, how- 
ever, could do nothing to erase our 
pleasurable memories of colour and 
sunshine in the Grampians and the 
Little Desert. 

Natural History Medallion Trust Fund 

The following donations have been received and we thank the donors: — 

Amount invested as at 22 November, 1975 $259 

Ringwood Field Naturalists Club 20 

Amount invested as at 18 February, 1976 279 

Mr. J. A. Baines $10 

Geelong Field Naturalists Club 10 

Amount invested as at 10 March, 1976 $299 

We have placed a forward order for this year's Medallion, so if you are contemplating 
sending a donation please send it now. 

Garnet Johnson, Correspondence Secretary. 

54 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The Broad-toothed Rat still in Sherbrooke Forest 
A successful search for Mastocomys fuscus Thomas 

BY H. Brunner and I. D. Bertuch * 

In 1970, a small colony of the 
broad-toothed rat (M. fuscus) was 
located in wet sclerophyll forest near 
Belgrave in Sherbrooke Forest Park 
(Seebeck 1971). In the presence of 
other small terrestrial mammals, this 
rat was difficult to trap, so that a 
study of the colony was only possible 
after all captured species of Rattus 
fuscipes, Antechinus swainsonii and 
A. stuartii were transferred to another 
area. This left the traps vacant for the 
apparently more shy M. fuscus. At 
the completion of this study in 1972, 
as many M. fuscus specimens as could 
be trapped were taken into captivity 
before the colony area was sprayed to 
eradicate blackberry. Two weeks later 
the rats were released again. This was 
done in the belief that blackberry 
spraying might affect the rats (Brug- 
man, unpublished data). We wish to 
point out that the herbicide 2,4,5-T 
used to spray blackberries in Victoria 
would be unlikely to affect popula- 
tions of small mammals (Parsons, 
1972) and that at the Sherbrooke site 
where there are large thickets of wire 
grass, the effect of the herbicide on 
cover for animals would be negligible. 

In the following year, a trapping 
programme was carried out to deter- 
mine whether the M. fuscus popula- 
tion had survived. Only one specimen 
was caught (approx 650 trapnights). 
It was suggested that the population 
may have perished as a result of in- 
creased predation by foxes (due to 
the reduced blackberry cover), (Reed 
and Wallis, 1975). 

However, during an extensive sur- 
vey of the whole of Sherbrooke Forest 
Park, which included the known 

colony area, from July, 1973-June, 
1974, it was found that 46 out of 
1888 predator scats contained hairs 
of the broad-toothed rat (Brunner 
et al, 1975). These hairs are readily 
identified by microscopic examination 
of cross-sections, whole mounts and in 
particular of scale casts. Although the 
hairs look similar in some respect to 
those of a few other rodent species, 
they can be easily recognised by their 
characteristic scale pattern (Brunner 
and Coman, 1974). The 46 occurences 
of M. fuscus were located from most 
parts of the forest and included the 
'colony' area. 

A further brief survey, involving 
309 predator scats was carried out in 
September, 1975. We found 6 occur- 
rences of M. fuscus in these scats and 
a carcass of the species was also 
found on one of the trapping lines 
described by Reed et al (1975). The 
scats collected from this original 
colony area had a significantly greater 
proportion of broad-toothed rat oc- 
currences than two other areas in the 
park. Thus, this rat still exists in the 
area described by N. A. Wakefield 
where the blackberries were sprayed. 

Because Sherbrooke Forest Park is 
close to the city of Melbourne, we 
feel that every effort should be made 
to protect the remaining animals in 
this forest and especially the broad- 
toothed rat. As several casualties of 
M. fuscus have occurred using trap- 
ping, we believe that occasional 
checks for its presence could be better 
carried out using scat analysis. 

* Keith Turnbull Research Institute, 

Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board, 

Frankston, Victoria 3199 

March 7 April 


M. fuscus in other localities. 

Hairs of M. fuscus have also been 
identified in two samples from a few 
predator scats collected in heath scrub 
just below the summit of Mt Feather- 
top (1954 m) in October, 1975 (G. 
Friend, personal communication). In 
the same region, M. fuscus hairs were 
recovered from a small number of 
scats collected at an altitude of ap- 
proximately 610 m and examined by 

A further 20 occurrences of M. 
fuscus remains were found during a 
recent scat analysis survey of the 
Dartmouth Dam inundation area. One 
interesting point about this survey 
was that all scats containing M. fuscus 
hairs came from one small area 
(Brunner, Amor and Stevens, in 
press) . 

Single occurrences, using the same 
methods, were also located in the 
Otway Ranges (September, 1972), in 

the Boola Boola area (October, 1973) 
and at Naringal East (October, 1972). 
These results indicate that the 
broad-toothed rat may be more com- 
mon than previously thought and that 
scat analysis is an effective method of 
locating the colonies. 


Brunner, H., Lloyd, J. and Coman, B. J. 
(1975). Fox Scat Analysis in a Forest 
Park in South-eastern Australia. 'Aust. 
Wildl. Res.', 2: 147-154. 

Brunner, H., Amor, R. L. and Stevens, P. L. 
(in press). The use of predator scat 
analysis in a mammal survey at Dart- 
mouth in North-eastern Victoria. 

Brunner, H. and Coman, B. J. (1974). The 
identification of mammalian hair. (In- 
kata Press, Melbourne.) 

Parsons, W. T. (1972). Pesticides in the 
control of vermin and noxious weeds. 
'Victoria's Resources', 14: 13-18. 

Reed, G. F. and Wallis, R. L. (1975). 
Studies of Antechinus swainsonii and other 
small mammals in an area of Sherbrooke 
Forest Park. 'Vic. Nat.', 92: 84-90. 

Seebeck, J. H. (1971). Distribution and 
Habitat of the Broad-toothed Rat, Masta- 
comys fuscus Thomas (Rodentia, Muri- 
dae) in Victoria. 'Vic. Nat.', 88: 310-323. 

The Broad-toothed Rat 

by J. H. Seebeck * 

Editors Note. Questions aroused by the previous article led to the discovery of 
this one. It provides basic information that the layman likes to know, and enables 
him to appreciate the significance of the finding by Messrs Brunner and Bertuch. 
It is re-printed with permission from 'Fur, Feathers and Fins' published in 1971 by 
the Fisheries and Wildlife Division. Mr Seebeck has made some small alterations to 
up-date this "re-print" to 1976. 

In Victoria, nine species of native 
rats and mice have survived to the 
present day. Six of these species be- 
long to the zoologically primitive 
group called the Pseudomyinae — 
literally, "false mouse". Despite this 
strange name, they are true rodents, 
related to the introduced domestic 
mice and rats. 

The group is characteristically Aus- 
tralian, and for the most part little is 
known of their habits or distribution. 

One of the most interesting of the 
group is the Broad-toothed Rat, so 
called because of the relatively great 
width of its molar teeth. 

The scientific name of the Broad- 
toothed Rat is Mastacomys fuscus 
which refers to the jaw structure and 
the dusky brown colour of the animal. 

* Senior Research Officer, 

Wildlife Research Section, 

Fisheries and Wildlife Division, 

Ministry for Conservation. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

An adult Mastacomys is about 280 
mm from nose to tail tip, with the 
tail being about 130 mm long. Vic- 
torian specimens usually weigh about 
120 gm. They are fairly stoutly built 
animals, with quite long fur which is 
dark brown with an olive tinge. Be- 
cause the skull is wide to accommo- 
date the large cheek teeth, the head 
appears broad and relatively short. 

Characteristically these animals 
adopt a very compact stance, and 
thus look very rounded and fluffy. 
This appearance is enhanced by the 
shortness of the legs, which tend to 
be hidden by the long fur. Broad- 
tooths are gentle in nature and rarely 
attempt to bite when being handled, 
although females with young may be 
aggressive towards males. 

Many species of the Pseudomyinae 
are now uncommon, and Mastacomys 
is no exception. First described in 
1882 from Tasmania, a few specimens 
were later found in Victoria from iso- 
lated localities in Gippsland and the 
Otway Ranges, and in 1946 the species 
was discovered at Mt Kosciusko in 
New South Wales. In recent years 
both the Tasmanian and New South 
Wales animals have been studied in 
some detail. In Tasmania it has been 
found that Mastacomys has a fairly 
wide distribution in the western half 
of that State. 

In Victoria, interest in the Broad- 
toothed Rat was rekindled in 1960 
when Mr R. M. Warneke of this 
Division found that species at Loch 
Valley near Noojee in Gippsland. Sub- 
sequently we have found that the 
species has, as in Tasmania, a much 
wider modern day distribution than 
was suspected. It is, in fact, the most 
widely spread member of the Pseudo- 
myinae in this State. The range is 
now known to extend from the alpine 
areas around Mt Hotham, into central 
and south Gippsland, the Dandenong 
Ranges and west into several parts of 

the Otways. There are probably many 
more places where the species has yet 
to be discovered, as we know from 
fossil remains that it has once oc- 
curred in south western Victoria, the 
Grampians and East Gippsland. 

To effectively plan for the conser- 
vation of any wildlife species many 
facets of the biology of that species 
must be investigated. Two of the most 
important factors are the type of 
country in which the animal lives (the 
habitat) and the reasons for it living 
in this habitat. 

For the Broad-toothed Rat it is not 
easy to find out this information. 
Firstly, while the species is wide- 
spread, it is only known to occur in 
isolated colonies so that specimens are 
rarely encountered. Secondly, even if 
it is known to live in a particular 
locality it is not always possible to 
locate the animals, because the popu- 
lation density (the number of indi- 
viduals per hectare) may be very low 
compared with that of another 
species. At most Victorian localities, 
for instance, we find that Bush Rats 
(Rat t us fuscipes) are present in very 
much larger numbers than Broad- 
toothed Rats. Also, the known habi- 
tat varies widely from treeless alpine 
wet heaths to dense wet eucalypt 
forest to dry lowland heath country, 
and even right down to coastal heaths. 
There are many thousands of hec- 
tares of these kinds of habitat left in 
Victoria but Mastacomys only seems 
to occur in very small pockets within 
these. The present day distribution 
may thus be considered as a relic of 
an earlier more widespread pattern. 

As we learn more of the distribu- 
tion of Mastacomys we are better 
able to relate this to habitat, and the 
preferences of the species to particu- 
lar areas. With each specimen col- 
lected we learn more about breeding 
habits and diet, information which is 
also very important for conservation 



planning. We still know very little 
about the behaviour and movements 
o\' Mastacomys but recently some re- 
search workers have begun to study 
these aspects o\ the animal's biology. 
It is by no means certain that the 
Broad-toothed Rat will remain for 
ever on the Australian scene, for it 
may be that evolutionary processes 
beyond our control will work against 
the species for example, compe- 
tition for \ood and housing between 
this non-aggressive vegetarian rodent 
and the more aggressive omnivorous 
Bush Rat. The low breeding capa- 
bility o[ Mastacomys (average litter 
2, gestation period 5 weeks) may put 

it at a disadvantage compared with 
the Bush Rat, with an average litter 
of 5 and gestation period 3-31 weeks. 
Although time may ultimately run 
out for the Broad-toothed Rat, as it 
did for dinosaurs, we have the re- 
sponsibility of ensuring that the 
species does not become extinct 
before its time. Our present task is to 
learn as much and as quickly as 
possible about the Broad-toothed Rat 
so that we can plan properly for the 
conservation of this inoffensive and 
interesting Australian. The research 
being carried out by this Division 
and other biologists is directed towards 
this end. 

Natural History at the Coast 

In December we plan to publish a 
special issue of 'The Victorian Naturalist' 
consisting almost entirely of articles re- 
lating to our coasts. 

Science and research workers might 
have relevant material that they are plan- 
ning or are already preparing for publica- 
tion. Such articles will be gratefully 

And we expect many layman articles 
from members o{ the FNCV; in fact we 
hope to receive at least two items from 
each Study Group, as well as from other 
people. Some items might be only a few 

lines, but others could be more substantial. 
Geology, land and sea plants, marine 
creatures, insects etc, birds, tides, what- 
ever — the possibilities are almost un- 

It is desirable that material for this 
speeial coast issue should be received by 
the editor by 30 September; it might be 
necessary to defer later items to the first 
issue in 1977. 

When preparing an article for publica- 
tion, please have it typed with double 
line spacing and leave at least 3cm (about 
lj') clear margin at the left. 

The Wild Flowers of (he Wilsons Promontory National Park by J. Ros Garnet. 

Price $5.25, discount to members; postage 60c. 

Ferns of Victoria and Tasmania by N. A. Wakefield, revised by Dr. J. H. Willis. 

Price $3.25, discount to members; postage 60c. 

Send order to FNCV Sales Officer: 

Mr D. E. Mclnnes, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135; telephone 21 1 2427. 

Mow to know West Australian Wildflowers, Part IV by W. E. Blackall and B. J. Green. 

Price $21.00, discount to members; postage variable — $1.00 or more, due to distance. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

New Discovery: Upper Devonian Bones near Genoa 

BY B. Stainforth 

A. J. Alston 

D. J. Bennett 

A. Camilleri* 

Approximately 4 km upstream from 
where the Upper Devonian footprints, 
described by Warren and Wakefield 
(1952), were found, tangible remains 
of vertebrates have now been found 
in rocks of the same age (Genoa 
River Beds probably Upper 

Devonian). Whilst these bones are 
those of bony fishes the possibility of 
finding the remains of amphibians in 
the same rocks is enhanced. 

The initial discovery was made by 
us in March 1975. It consisted of a 
few fragments of bones which were 
embedded in float boulders of a tough 
conglomeratic sediment in the Genoa 
River. In nearby red shales, plant re- 
mains were also discovered (identi- 
fied by G. A. Thomas as Lepto- 
phloeum australe) . 

In January 1976, three of us (Al- 
ston, Bennett and Stainforth) re- 
turned to the area with the hope of 
finding in-situ material. Such in-situ 
material was located and the as- 
sociated stratigraphy documented 
(figure 1). With the aid of two Uni- 
versity of Melbourne research stu- 
dents, preliminary sampling of the 
in-situ material was conducted. In ad- 
dition, the area between this locality 
and that of the footprints was 

The lack of access into the area 
makes work difficult. Although the 
area is one of open forest, the only 
feasible route into the fossil bone 

* Company Geologists with 
Urangesellschaft of Australia Pty. Ltd. 

Fig. 1 : 

Sketch showing 
the stratigraphic 
sequence at the 
bone lens locality. 

Massive Sandstone 

fossil bone lens 

iandy^C^onglomerate T 2 5 cm 

Green Shale T h$ cm 

fissile red silty sandstone 

March 7 April 


locality involves an arduous walk 
through the thick scrubby terrain of 
the deeply entrenched Genoa River, 
of which several crossings have to be 
made. (In 1971 a helicopter was used 
to remove material from the footprint 

The fossiliferous outcrop sampled 
is on an east bank of the river and is 
in the form of an overhang. The 
bones are contained in a 25 cm thick 
medium grained sand to conglomeratic 
lens. This lens is overlain directly by 
3 m of very massive, coarsely cross- 
bedded, medium fine grained, red 
sandstone. Underlying the lens, in 
order of stratigraphic descent, is 
45 cm of green silty shale, approxi- 

mately 2 m of red silt and then at least 
12 m of fissile, deep red, fine silty 

Associated with the bone bearing 
lens and the green and red silty sedi- 
ments immediately underlying it, is a 
degree of secondary copper enrich- 
ment (predominantly malachite). In 
particular the malachite occasionally 
lines joints and fractures and fills 
cores of much of the fossile plant 
material present. 

From the reconnaissance mapping 
conducted so far, it would appear 
that the stratigraphic horizon contain- 
ing the bone material is possibly a 
lateral equivalent of the unit in which 
the footprints were found. Douglas 

Fig. 2: 

Broken section of 

fish bone. Cellular 

and growth lines 

are prominent. 


Photo: N. Archbold 

Fig. 3: 

Typical pitted 
surface ornament 
of the bony plates 
Chevron pattern 
(pointed right) on 
right side of this 
plate may be form 
of growth line. 
Photo: N. Archbold 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(1975) outlined the geology and 

stratigraphy of the Genoa River Beds. 

The fossiliferous lens is believed to 

be a type of lag deposit. A lag 

deposit can accumulate a representa- 
tive sample of faunal remains present 
at the time of deposition. This dis- 
covery may therefore oiler an oppor- 
tunity to loeate remains oi' early 
amphibians which are known to have 
occupied a similar position as the 
fossiliferous lens in spaee and time 
(Warren and Wakefield, 1972). 
Geological mapping and sampling o!' 
the fossiliferous material by students 

oi' the University oi' Melbourne is 
continuing In the area. 

The hone material collected to date 

appears to be that oi' large bony 
fishes. It is mostly curved, platey and 

roughly ovoid in shape (from 10 em 
to 20 cm in length, up to 10 em across 
and may he up to 2 em thick). The 
hones are all fairly robust and should 
require very little preparation prior to 
morphological study. Bone structure 
is very well preserved (figure 2). Fish 
seales (?) to 5 em across are also 
present. Where the bone material is 
weathered out oi' the roek matrix, 
well preserved ornamented impres- 
sions oi' the bone often remain 
(figure 3). 

Early occurrences of* Devonian 
fishes in Australia have been re- 
corded by Hills (1935) who described 
examples and gave a bibliography oi' 
earlier work. Very recently Carter 
(1975) has noted the diseovery near 
Eden, N.S.W., oi' Upper Devonian 
fish attributed to Bothriolepis sp. and 

Phyllolepis sp. This discovery is oi' 

particular note in view oi' the 
proximity to the area now under con 
Sideration, Carter also referred briefly 

to a recent study by Young ( 1974) on 
Middle and I ate Devonian fishes, 


The authors are grateful for the 

assistance lent by Urangesellschaft oi' 

Australia Pty. I td. in the above dis 

coveries. We wish to express our ap- 
preciation oi' the assistance and en- 
couragement offered by Dr W. E. 
Schindlmayr**. We would also like to 

thank I. R. Dnddy and Ms S. A. 
Reeekmann who assisted in the col- 
lection oi' specimens in January, 1976. 
We are also indebted to l)r (j. \ 
Thomas, University oi' Melbourne, 

School oi' Geology, for identifying the 

plant remains and eneoinaging (on 
the basis oi' the little material eol 

leeted in 1975) the search i'ov further 



Carter, .1., 1975. Good Fishing on South 
(\>ast Excursion. The Australian Geologist 
X, p. 9. 

Douglas, .1. (;., 1971. Explanatory Notes on 
the Mallacoota l : 250,000 Geological 

Map. No. 1974/6 pp. 4-28. 

Hills, E. S., 1935. Records and Descriptions 

of Some Australian Devonian Fishes 

/'n>c. Roy. Soc. Vict. -ISO. 
Warren, .1. W. and Wakefield, N. A., 1972, 

Trackways of* Tetrapod vertebrates from 

the Upper Devonian of Victoria A ust 
Nature 2\X ; 5365, pp. 469-470. 

Young, (J. ( ., 1974. Stratigraphie occurrence 
of some Placoderm fishes ill the Middle 
and late Devonian. /////•. Miner. Resour 
Record 1974/^2. 

** Chief Geologist, 
Urangesellschaft <>f Australia Pty Ltd. 

FNCV June General Meeting 

The June General Meeting will he held persons who attended that meeting were 

on the Queen's Birthday holiday, Mon- in favour of retaining the Monday fixture 

(lay, 14 June. A vote was taken on instead of changing to Wednesday 
9 February and a majority of* the 92 



First Record in Victoria of the Scorpaenid Fish 
Maxillicosta scabriceps Whitely 1935 

hy Peter A. Morghnroth * 

Editor's Note: Scorpion fish arc SO named because many species have a poison 
gland in the groove of some of the fin spines; they should not be handled carelessly. 
Gurnard perch and rock cod belong to the same family — Scorpaenidae. Many 
scorpion fish are very colourful and some are well camouflaged. The colourful speci- 
men described below, as well as being the first of its species to be found in Victoria, 
is also the first of the genus Maxillicosta from this State, although there are other 
genera of scorpion fish in our waters. 

On 8 May, 1 975 a specimen of the 
scorpaenid fish Maxillicosta scabriceps 
Whitley, 1935, was obtained near Tor- 
toise Head in Westernport Bay, Vic- 
toria (I. at. 38° 25' 00" S., Long. 145 
15' 57" E.). This species has not pre- 
viously been recorded from Victoria. 
It was trawled on a sandy bottom with 
patches of 'eel-grass' from Fisheries 
and Wildlife survey vessel 'Melita'. 
The specimen was preserved in a 
solution of ethanol : sea-water (7 : 3 
vol.). It is held by the National 
Museum of Victoria (Nat. Mus. Vict. 
Fish Catalogue Number A505). 

Meristic and morpliometric observations 

Measurement criteria, excepting scale 
counts, are those of Eschmeyer and Poss 
(1975). All d i m e n s i o n s a re re po rted i n 

Dorsal fin XIII, 7i (last split to base, 
almost 8); Anal fin III, 51 (last split to 
base, almost 6); Pectoral fin 25; Ventral 
fin 1,5; Caudal fin 10 branched, 12 prin- 
cipal; Gill rakers 4 + 9=13, 4 + 8 = 
12; Nasal spines 2,3; Supraorbital 
spines 12,10; Scales in lateral line 44; 
Scales above lateral line 4; Scales below 
lateral line 12; Standard length 6 C ).(); 

:: I ccturer Zoology, 

Department of Applied Biology, 

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. 

Fig. 1 : 



When alive, was 
brick red mottled 
with black and 
cream spots above, 
blending into 
cream below. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fig. 2: 

Head of 

M. scabriceps 

showing the ribbed 
maxilla charac- 
teristic of the 

Head length 29.0; Body depth 22.1; Orbit 
diameter 10.0; Snout length 5.3; Inter- 
orbital width 3.8; Interorbital depth 1.7; 
Jaw length 14.0; Base spinous dorsal 2 C ); 
Base soft dorsal 9.5; Base anal tin 15.0; 
Third dorsal spine 18.2; First anal spine 
10.3; Second anal spine 15.0; Third anal 
spine 11.2; Pectoral fin length 23.3; 
Pelvic fin length 19.0; Caudal fin length 
21.0; Least depth caudal peduncle 7.0; 
HL/OD 2.9; HL/IW 7.6; OD/LW 3.4; 
OD/Snout length 1.9; Interorbital width/ 
Interorbital depth 2.2. 

1. A small symphyseal knob is 

2. Many scales along the back above 
the lateral line with a very weak ridge 
or ridges. Many scales bilobed or tri- 
lobed with a very weak to moderate 
third lobe. 

3. Colour when alive: Brick red 
above mottled with black and cream 
spots, blending into a cream colour 
below. Anal and ventral fins cream 
coloured. Pectoral, dorsal and caudal fins 
cream with brown or black markings as 
shown in the photograph (fig. 1). 


I wish to thank Wm. N. Eschmeyer 
and Stuart G. Poss for permitting me to 
examine their manuscript (in press), re- 
vising the genus Maxillicosta and for 
examining the Victoria specimen. 1 also 
wish to acknowledge the assistance o\' the 
Fisheries and Wildlife Department, to 
thank the crew o\' the survey vessel 
'Melita' for their assistance and co- 
operation and to thank Ms J. Dixon of 
the National Museum of Victoria for 
permitting me to examine their records 
of specimens. 


Eschmeyer, Wm. N. and Poss, S. G. In 
press 1975. Review of the scorpion fish 
genus Maxillicosta (Pisces: Seorpaenidae) 
with a deseriplion of three new species 
from the Australian-New Zealand region. 
Bulletin of Marine Sciences, Miami. (In 

Whitley, G. P. (1935). Studies in Ich- 
thyology. No. 9. Records of the Australian 
Museum, 19, p. 246. 


Ferns of Victoria and Tasmania by N. A. Wakefield, revised by Dr. J. H. Willis. 
Price $3.25, discount to members; postage 60c. Send order to Sales Officer: 
D. E. Mclnnes, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3145; telephone 211 2427. 



Gall Flies 

Notes by Ken Strong, Microscopy Group, FNCV 

Galls of various types occur on 
gum-trees and on various parts of the 
plant. This one develops on the flower 
bud, is more or less spherical with a 
diameter up to 3 cm, and becomes 
very tough. 

It is caused by a small fly. The body 
of the fly is 3-4 mm long, yellow with 
brown markings; fig. 1. (Flies belong 
to the Diptera, an order of insects 
meaning "two wings". This gall fly is 
a member of the family Fergusonini- 

When the galls are cut open, each 
is found to contain up to 60 larvae. 
At an advanced stage, the larvae are 
somewhat diamond-shaped with a 
black spot in the centre. Larvae 
pupate in the gall. Each pupa case is 
almost black and is attached at the 
posterior end to the wall of the cavity 
where the larva has been feeding; 
fig. 2. 

How does the fly emerge? 

The mature insect has the same 
type of sucking mouth as a house fly, 
and the same type of pads and claws 

on its feet. There appears to be noth- 
ing that would enable the fly to bore 
its way out from a tough gall, perhaps 
from the centre of one the size of a 
walnut. But closer examination re- 
vealed that a special tool is developed 
for the purpose. 

When the fly has formed and is 
about to emerge from the pupa, it 
develops a sack or bladder between 
the eyes and above the mouth. The 
sack bears hundreds of teeth in a 
rasp-like formation; near the eyes the 
rasp teeth are quite small, but increase 
in size and then become smaller again; 
fig. 3. This tooth-covered sack, the 
ptilinum, can be inflated and deflated, 
and develops dimples and wrinkles 
when the creature is in movement. 
One assumes that the fly's feet exert 
pressure in a forward direction; and 
the combined action of the rasp-like 
ptilinum cutting the gall tissue and the 
feet keeping up the pressure enables 
the fly to bore its way to the surface 
of the gall. 

When the fly emerges, it takes some 

Fig. 1 : Gall fly of the 
family Fergusoninidae. 
Body length 3-4 mm. 

f ■•'■•• 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 




ft^ t ffi*^*St* 



Fig. 2: Gall cut in half to show the 
many pupa, each attached to the wall of 
the cavity where the larva had been 

time for the wings to expand, and the 
ptilinum subsides and disappears 
within a day or two; fig. 4. 

Parasitising wasps 

The fly larvae in many of these 
galls are parasitised by a wasp so that 
few flies emerge. The wasp larvae 
that by another, and there might be 
might be parasitised by another wasp, 
five or more wasp species in the one 
gall! The wasps have powerful jaws so 
there is no problem about how they 
escape from the tough gall. 

Fig. 3: Simplified drawing of the in- 
flated ptilinum on an emerging fly. It 
shows some of the hundreds of rasp-like 
teeth, first small, then larger, and smaller 
again towards the "drilling nose". Highly 


Fig. 4: Ptilinum deflated. Highly magni- 
fied. The two dark areas at bottom left 
and right are part of the eyes. 

Nominations of FNCV Council Members and Office Bearers 

FNCV Annual General Meeting will 
be on Monday, 10 May, and nominations 
may be received up to that date. Nomi- 
nations are required for Council members. 
Council consists of the President, Vice- 
President, Immediate Past-President, and 
ten other persons. The following offices 
are open for nomination: President, 
Vice-President, Secretary, Minute Secre- 
tary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Sub- 
scription Secretary/Bookkeeper, Excur- 

sion Secretary, Librarian, Assistant 
Librarian, Editor. Such office-bearers 
might be members of Council or not. 
If you nominate a person for a particular 
office and he would also like to be a 
Council member, you must make the 
additional nomination of him as a 
Council member. 

Think now of the people you would 
like to see on our governing body, and 
ask them if they will accept nomination. 

March /April 


First Record in Victoria of Rice Cut Grass 
Leersia orysiodes (L) Swartz 

by Margaret G. Corrick, Botany Group, FNCV 

On 3 March, 1974 two collections 
of Leersia oryzoides (L.) Swartz 
(Rice Cut Grass) were made from the 
Yarra River about 2 kilometres down- 
stream from Bend of Islands near the 
site for the wall of the proposed Yarra 
Brae Dam. It was also observed on 
the same day at Bend of Islands. 

Vickery (1975: page 276) records 
this species as a "rare introduction" 
to Australia, the only N.S.W. collec- 
tion being from Leeton in 1959. There 
are no Australian collections of this 
species in the National Herbarium, 
Melbourne and apparently it has not 
been recorded previously in Victoria. 
It is native to North America, 
Europe and Japan. 

It is a strong-growing, rhyzomic 
perennial forming large, loose tufts or 
patches. The culms are up to 1.5 
metres long and have conspicuous 
hairy nodes; the leaves are a bright 
yellow-green, flat, 8-30 cm long, 
5-15 mm wide, with scabrous margins. 
The upper leaf sheaths are also scab- 
rid, and the whole plant feels rough 
to the touch. The papery ligule is 
about 1 mm long. The strong growth 
habit excludes other plants from the 
clumps and the bright yellow-green 
colour contrasts strongly with the 
duller greens of Paspalum distichum 
(Water Couch) and Phragmites aus- 
tralis (Common Reed), which are also 
plentiful in similar situations in the 
area. The panicle is loose and open, 

with slender flexuous branches. Spike- 
lets are one flowered, with glumes re- 
duced to a narrow rim at the tip of the 
pedicel. The lemma is semi-elliptic- 
oblong and fringed on the keel with 
stiff hairs. 

Hubbard (1954: p. 347) comments 
that (in England) with average spring 
and summer temperatures the panicles 
remain enclosed within, or become 
only partially exserted from the leaf 
sheaths, and under such conditions 
the spikelets are cleistogamous; in 
warm seasons the panicles are com- 
pletely exserted with large anthers 
hanging from the gaping lemmas so 
that cross pollination may take place. 
Ilustrations and descriptions appear 
in both Hubbard (p. 346) and Hitch- 
cock (1935: p. 559). 

On 1 February, 1976, a second 
visit was made to the site, and the 
grass was observed to have spread 
considerably, but was not in flower at 
this time. There were large patches 
on both banks of the river and also 
at several spots in the stream bed. It 
is apparent that most of the patches 
observed would be submerged when 
the river level is high. It is also evi- 
dently palatable to cattle, as it has 
been heavily grazed wherever it was 
growing within their reach. Small 
areas were also seen growing down- 
stream near the bridge at Warrandyte. 
Considering the popularity of this 
part of the Yarra it is remarkable 

Opposite: Leersia oryzoides (L.) Swartz 

a — plant; b — panicle; c — node; d — ligule; 

e — spikelet; f — grain. 

a, d, and e drawn from MEL 503210 

b, e, and f drawn from MEL 503209 



that this occurrence of Leersia ory- 
zoides has not been recorded 

Two collections are lodged with the 
National Herbarium, Melbourne: M. 
G. Corrick, 3 March, 1974, No. 3914 
(MEL503209) and M. G. Corrick, 
1 February, 1976, No. 5401 (MEL 


I wish to thank the National Her- 

barium, Melbourne for permission to 
check records, and Rex Filson for his 
fine botanical drawing. 


Hitchcock, A. S., 1935. Manual of the 
Grasses of the United States. U.S. Gov- 
ernment Printing Office, revised edition 
1951, 1051 pages. 

Hubbard, C. E., 1954. Grasses. Penguin 
Books. 2nd edition reprinted 1972, 463 

Vickery, J. W., 1975. Flora of New South 
Wales, No. 19 (Gramineae), Suppl. to 
Pt. 1, Pt. 2, 306 pages. 

Rice Cut Grass 
Leersia oryzoides 
In the Yarra River 
at Warrandyte. 

The Origin of Generic Names of the Victorian Flora 
Part 2 -Latin, Greek and Miscellaneous 

(Continued from page 30) 
by James A. Baines 


At the end of the entry for 
Machaerina ('Vic. Nat.' Vol. 93, p. 
28), add to 'Willis retains them in 
Cladium\ the words 'but in the Sup- 
plement to the 2nd edition of 'Hand- 
book to Plants in Victoria' Vol. I, p. 
438, he mentions S. T. Blake's 
adoption (1969) of the name Baumea 
for most Australian species formerly 
included in Cladium, including all 
Victorian species except. C. procerum, 

and the new combinations are listed; 
these have now gained general 

'Baumea was named by Gaudichaud- 
Beaupre in 1829, probably after 
Antoine Baume (1728-1904), a 
French chemist, inventor of a hydro- 
meter. Japanese botanist Koyama's 
revision (1956) took up Machaerina, 
published by Danish botanist Vahl in 
1806 (posthumously, as he died in 


Vidt. Nat. Vol. 93 

Menyanthes. Gk menyo, to disclose; 
anthesis, the flower or full bloom of a 
plant. Villarsia exaltata was collected 
by Solander and named by him as a 
species of Menyanthes, but that is a 
monotypic genus of the North Tem- 
perate zone, a bog plant that gives its 
name to family Menyanthaceae to 
which Villarsia belongs. (M. trifoliata 
is Bog-bean or Buck-bean in Europe.) 

*Mercurialis. Originally herba mer- 
curialis, Herb Mercury, named in 
honour of Mercury, messenger of the 
gods. Our species is *M. annua, An- 
nual Mercury; the genus belongs to 
family Euphorbiaceae. 

Mesembryanthemum. A. W. Smith & 
Wm. T. Stearn have an interesting 
story on this name, which I quote 
from their 'A Gardener's Dictionary 
of Plant Names': The etymological 
tangle of this name began in 1684 
when Breyne published it as Mesem- 
brianthemum, derived from Gk 
mesembria, midday; anthemon, flower; 
in allusion to the fact that the only 
species then known bloomed at noon. 
When night-flowering species became 
known, and this name accordingly 
seemed inappropriate, Dillenius in 
1719 ingeniously renamed the genus 
Mesembryanthemum; by changing 
the i to y he altered the derivation, to 
Gk mesos, middle; embryon, embryo; 
anthemon, flower, with reference to 
the position of the ovary. The group 
has now been divided into numerous 
smaller genera based on habit of 
growth and fruit-characters.' Victoria's 
introduced species are now in the dif- 
ferent genera *Gasoul and *Aptenia 
(ice-plants), *Psilocaulon (Wiry Noon- 
flower) and Carpobrotus (Angled Pig- 
face and Hottentot Fig), while our 
native species are in Carpobrotus (In- 
land Pigface and Karkalla), Lamp- 
ranthus (Little Noonflower), Disphyma 
(Rounded Noonflower) and Sarcozona. 
They are in family Aizoaceae. 

Metrosideros. Gk metra, core, heart- 
wood; sideros, iron. Those who note 
the similarity in the flowers of N.Z. 
Christmas tree or pohutukawa and the 
ratas of that country's forests to the 
massed blooms of our scarlet flower- 
ing gums do not always realize the 
relationship between these members 
of the family Myrtaceae. Described 
erroneously as species of Metrosideros 
in the very early days of plant collect- 
ing in Australasia were such members 
of the Victorian flora as Callistemon 
citrinus, C. macropunctatus and C. 
pallidus, Eucalyptus gummifera, An- 
gophora floribunda and Melaleuca 
armillaris. The botanists responsible 
were Solander, J. Gaertner, Curtis, 
Smith, Dunal and Bonpland. The only 
Australian species of Metrosideros are 
two endemics in North Queensland 
and Northern Territory. 

Micrantheum. Gk mikros, small; an- 
thos, flower; a name that could have 
been given to many flowers of similar 
diminutive size. Our species is M. 
hexandrum, Box Micrantheum; family 

Microcybe. Gk mikros, small; kybe, 
head; alluding to the small flower- 
heads. Our two species, both native, 
M. pauci flora and M. multi flora, dis- 
tinguished by their specific names as 
'few-flowered' and 'many-flowered', 
and by their common names as the 
Yellow and the Red respectively. 
Microlaena. Gk mikros, small; laina, 
cloak; alluding to the two minute 
outer glumes. Victoria's species, M. 
stopoides, Weeping Grass, is found 
in all States. The specific name means 
'like Stipa\ though it was originally 
placed by Labillardiere in Ehrharta. 

Micromyrtus. Gk mikros, small; 
myrtos, myrtle; because of the tiny 
flowers of these myrtaceous plants. 
Our sole species is M. ciliata, Heath- 

(To be continued) 



A Plague of Crickets 

by Joan Forster 

On the second weekend of February 
1976 I arrived at my house at Moggs 
Creek late in the evening. (Moggs 
Creek is nine miles south of Angle- 
sea.) As I unpacked I had all the 
lights on including the outside light. 
In no time there were black insects 
bumping against the wall and on the 
stairway near the light. Each time I 
opened the door to enter with another 
package, I had to be careful not to be 
accompanied by a group of hopping 

That preliminary care was rather 
pointless. As T unpacked in the kit- 
chen, crickets hopped about me and T 
realised they had come in before my 
arrival. I understood why, a year ago, 
some friends who have a house nearer 
the beach had given up and returned 
home the same evening. 

I found crickets under the stove, in 
bathroom and bath, under the bed, in 
fire-place and broom cupboard. T 
sprayed and collected. 

After going to bed, I listened to the 
amazingly loud thumps as crickets 
landed on the roof, scuttled along the 
gutters, down the drain-pipes and 
plopped into my water-tank! I lay 
awake trying to devise plans to defeat 
this last menace — fishing them out 
of the tank or fitting wire-netting at 
the down-pipes. But such plans were 
futile as my roof is 20 feet up and the 
tank has a securely fitted lid. I could 
only hope that I would not be faced 
with the problem that faced several 
neighbours last year. Their houses are 
nearer the beach and their tanks be- 
came so full of crickets that the water 
turned putrid; the tanks had to be 

emptied and fresh water bought. 

There was a strong north wind the 
night I arrived, but a change came 
the next day and a south breeze blew 
from the sea. I walked down towards 
the beach and noticed a wide black 
band on our usually clean sand. I 
thought that the rough sea had 
brought in seaweed, and flocks of gulls 
were feeding there, with some crested 
terns among them. As I walked on to 
the sand 1 found, not seaweed, but 
crickets! They were in heaps in a 
strip about six feet wide at high tide 
level, most of them dead. I presume 
that the north wind had blown them 
out during the night, they had fallen, 
and the tide had washed them to 
shore — providing a surfeit for gulls. 

The black band and its crowding 
gulls extended right along the beach, 
as far as I could see in each direction. 
Later in the day, some friends ob- 
served that the gulls were so glutted 
they could rise only a few feet when 
approached by a dog; and they could 
not remain air-borne but landed al- 
most immediately. The beach was 
strewn with their droppings, and much 
of the droppings included undigested, 
almost entire crickets. 

Travelling to Lome in March 1975 
T found the road covered with crickets, 
and flocks of gulls feeding on them. 
There was also a unusual number of 
herons and egrets about, especially on 
the flats where crickets crawled from 
cracks in the parched ground. 

For two years crickets have been 
in plague proportions along this south- 
west coast. What is the cause of the 
astonishing increase of these insects? 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

The Editorial Committee 

In our editorial on page 39 we re- 
cognised that this Committee should be 
permanent instead of interim as originally 
planned. A committee can help but there 
must still be an editor, and Madge Lester 
volunteered as acting editor until this 
time next year. Council has since ap- 
pointed her editor. 

Miss Lester has our whole-hearted sup- 
port and active co-operation: each of us 
will undertake such editorial tasks as she 
chooses to delegate, but she herself will 
handle all the technical side. During the 
production of her last two issues, a mem- 
ber of this Committee (if no other editor 
is forthcoming) will be learning the tech- 
nicalities ready to take over at the end of 
Miss Lester's twelve months. This might 
well happen each year or each second 
year, and we see this Committee as a 
sort of training ground for short-term 
editors so that no person need fear he 
will be left in the job too long. Any 
FNCV member will be welcome to join 
this 'editorial training ground' and share 
in the immediate editorial tasks. 

Another important function of this 
Committee is the checking of factual 
matter; we want everything in this 
journal to be correct. 

We have drawn up what we think is a 
fairly comprehensive plan. One item in 
this plan requires the support of Club 
members; please see below. Another is 
the aim to help readers get more value 
from everything in each issue, and there 
will be more Editor's Notes attached to 
articles, especially to scientific ones. Yet 
another is that Alan Morrison and Ian 
(Dick) Morrison have agreed to be our 
'bank' for photographs. We hope to use 
some of their superb shots on the covers, 
and Club members can apply to them 

if illustrative material is needed for 


Your Help and Support, Please 

An important aim in our plan is to 
gain more contributions, short or long, 
from Club members. 

The short items might be about some- 
thing Lin usual or of particular interest 
that attracted your attention. If you 
were intrigued by it, many other mem- 
bers will be too; send it to the Editor, 
whether it's only five lines or fifty. Also, 
some of those chance observations could 
be more significant than you think. We 
are not planning to re-introduce a formal 
'Nature Notes' page (though we might 
do so if there are many) but will put 
your notes in spaces at the end of 
articles. Book reviews would be welcome 
too, but keep them brief. 

If you have difficulty in writing up 
your item, contact any member of this 
Committee and he will help you. One or 
two of us could even manage simple 
diagrams; we are not expert artists, but 
are willing to try if you supply the 

Longer articles or series of short 
articles from members and other laymen 
will be greatly appreciated. They might 
be about a particular species, genus, a 
life history, area, or other aspect of 
natural history. 

Country members and members of 
country clubs are especially well situated 
to help us, and we look forward to re- 
ceiving many nature notes from them as 
well as longer articles. 

When preparing material for publica- 
tion, please have it typed with double line 
spacing and leave a clear margin at the 
left of at least 3 cm (about 1H")- 

Brian Smith, chairman. 

Reports of FNCV Meetings 

General Meeting 
Monday, 9 February 

Speaker for the evening was Mr. Mark 
Gottsch. He spoke about north-west Vic- 
toria and showed superb slides including 
many of reptiles and birds; he was know- 
ledgeable about the habits as well as the 

habitat of all of them. Mr. Gottsch was 
concerned about the ecology of the area 
and the impact of the white man, but has 
hope that more careful use will abate the 
effect of previous thoughtlessness. 

Exhibits. Mr. Jim Baines displayed all 
the flower paintings of Alison Ashby that 



have been reproduced as postcards by the 
S.A. Museum. Mr. Baines keeps the 
cards in envelopes according to family, 
and the families were displayed in alpha- 
betical order. 

Mrs. Seamons showed a large repro- 
duction of a painting by Neil Douglas. 
There was an exhibit of what appeared 
to be gold-filled teeth in a sheep's jaw, 
but the "gold" was pyrites. Other items 
included a piece of fossil whale bone 
from Beaumaris; artificial obsidian; a 
rock with crystallisation of mineral solu- 
tion in the fine fractures that gave the 
appearance of a fern fossil. Some silici- 
fied wood, complete with worm holes, 
carried the question "How is it the holes 
were not filled during silification, or did 
the worm make the holes after the wood 
was silificied? A super worm?" A quarter- 
inch ball of "cotton wool" was the egg 
sac of the Red-backed Spider, accom- 
panied by the inumerable young that had 
emerged from it; we were comfortingly 
assured all were dead! 

An old photo (undated) showed several 
men standing in the large hollow in the 
base of a Beech tree (Nothofagus); it had 
previously been used as a dwelling and 
then as stables. 

Bird Study Group. The President an- 
nounced that it would be desirable to 
form such a group and those interested 
should contact Mr. Garnet Johnson. 

June Meeting. A show of hands de- 
clared preference for retaining the meet- 
ing on Monday, 14 June, Queen's Birth- 
day holiday, instead of changing to 

General Meeting 
Wednesday, 10 March 

Speaker for the evening was Dr. T. H. 
Rich, curator of fossils at the National 
Museum. Dr. Rich gave us a fascinating 
address on "New News on Old Bones". 
First he took a brief look at the generally 
accepted theory of the origin of our 
marsupials from South America via An- 
tarctica about 65 million years ago — be- 
fore continental drift drove the continents 
apart. Then he stated the difficulties of 
finding fossil evidence in Australia as our 
rocks are mostly too young or too old! 
Nevertheless, Dr. Rich then told us 
something of discoveries at various places 
in Victoria. Some findings at Cape Pater- 
son, Bacchus Marsh, Lancefield and 
Morwell presented more questions that 
contradicted previous theories. Such 
posers could only be solved by further 

Exhibits included a collection of seed 
poJs - - variety of sizes and shapes, 
smooth, lumpy or prickly. A cricket car- 
ried the label: "What are the conditions 
that have caused the present cricket 
plague?" There was a spider with a stout 
brown body about the diameter of a five 
cent piece, several graptolites, and %" 
wasps that parasitise the caterpillar of 
Papilio anactus. 

Our Kinglake Property. The Corres- 
pondence Secretary, Mr. Garnet John- 
son, was present and provided information 
on this property; it might be called "The 
Harold Frahm Bird Refuge". Mr. John- 
son is chairman of the management com- 
mittee and has great plans for making 
best use of the property. 

FNCV Property at Kinglake 

The FNCV property at Kinglake con- 
sists of 10 acres, well fenced and has 
three gates. 

The property has been bequeathed to 
the FNCV in perpetuity by Mr. Harold 
Charles Frahm, who died in July 1974. 
Council has considered various names 
such as "The Harold Frahm Bird Refuge" 
and it will be under a committee of 
management elected annually by Council. 
The committee will consist of a chair- 
man and five other members. Mr. Garnet 

Johnson has been appointed chairman. 

Mr. Johnson is enthusiastic about the 
property and its possibilities. As soon as 
the committee is appointed, we are likely 
to hear more about the ideas that Mr. 
Johnson has already developed for im- 
mediate action and about his visions for 
the future. Under his leadership, our 
property at Kinglake could become a 
great asset to this Club, as well as a 
natural reserve for native plants and 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 


Mrs. Salau, who broke her ankle when 
at the FNCV outing to Glen Nayook on 
15 February, has been moved from Box 
Hill Hospital to the Kingston Centre at 
Cheltenham. Apart from her ankle, 
which cannot be walked on for some 
months yet, Mrs. Salau says that she 
feels pretty well. Perhaps she feels even 
better when she has visitors. 

Ian (Dick) Morrison was married to Bar- 
bara Hooke on 27 March. Barbara is a 
daughter of the late Garnsey Hooke who 
has done so much for this Club in past 
years. Dick Morrison has won many 
friends by his unassuming kindness, and 
both he and Barbara play an active part 
in the Club, especially in the Botany 
Group. We wish them great happiness. 

FNCV Financial Report as at 31 December 1975 

Auditors' Report to the Members of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

In our opinion — 

(a) The attached balance sheet and profit and loss account are properly drawn 
up in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Act, 1961 of Victoria 
as amended and so as to give a true and fair view of: 

(i) the state of affairs of the Club at 31 December 1975 and of the results 

of the Club for the year ended on that date; and 
(ii) the other matters required by Section 162 of that Act to be dealt with 
in the accounts: 

(b) The accounting records and other records, and the registers required by that 
Act to be kept by the Club have been properly kept in accordance with the 
provisions of that Act. 

Chartered Accountants. 
m „ R. M. BLAND, Partner. 

Melbourne, 30th March, 1976. 

Report by Executive Council 

The members of the Executive Council 
submit herewith balance sheet as at 31 
December 1975 and income and expendi- 
ture account for the year ended on that 
date, and report as follows: — 

1. The Net Surplus of the Club for the 
year ended 31 December 1975 was 
$371 which added to the Surplus 
brought forward at 1 January 1975 
of $7,847, together with a transfer of 
$26 from Club Improvement Account 
and a credit for Life Membership 
Subscription of $200, and a transfer 
of $400 to Life Membership Fund, 
results in a surplus to be carried 
forward to next year of $8,044. 

2. The members of the Executive 
Council took reasonable steps to 
ascertain, before the income and ex- 
penditure account and balance sheet 
were made out, that all known bad 
debts were written off and adequate 
provision was made for doubtful 

3. The members of the Executive 
Council took reasonable steps, before 
the profit and loss account and 

balance sheet were made out, to 
ascertain that the current assets, 
other than debtors, were shown in 
the accounting records of the com- 
pany at a value equal to or below 
the value that would be expected to 
be realised in the ordinary course 
of business. 

At the date of this report, the 
members of the Executive Council 
are not aware of any circumstances 
which would render the values at- 
tributable to the current assets in 
the accounts misleading. 
No charge on the assets has arisen, 
since the end of the financial year 
to the date of this report, to secure 
the liabilities of another person. No 
contingent liability has arisen since 
the end of the financial year to the 
date of this report. 
No contingent or other liability has 
become enforceable or is likely to 
become enforceable within the period 
of twelve months after the end of 
the financial year which in the 
opinion of the members of the 



Executive Council will or may affect 
the ability of the Club to meet its 
obligations as and when they fall due. 

7. At the date of this report the mem- 
bers of the Executive Council are 
not aware of any circumstances not 
otherwise dealt with in the report or 
accounts which would render any 
amount stated in the accounts mis- 

8. The results of the Club's operations 
during the financial year, in the 
opinion of the members of the 
Executive Council, were not affected 
by any item transaction or event of 
a material and unusual nature. 

9. Since 31 December 1975, and to the 
date of this report, in the opinion 
of the members of the Executive 
Council, no item transaction or event 
of a material and unusual nature, 
which would affect substantially the 
results of the Club's operations for 
the next succeeding financial year, 
has occurred. 

10. No member of the Executive Coun- 
cil, since the end of the previous 
financial year, has received or be- 
come entitled to receive a benefit 
by reason of a contract made by the 
Club with the member or with a firm 
of which he is a member or with a 
company in which he has a substan- 
tial financial interest. 

11. The principal activities and objects 
of the Club are to stimulate interest 
in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian Fauna and 
Flora. No significant change in the 
nature of those activities occurred 
during that period. 

12. The names of the members of the 
Executive Council in office at the 
date of this report are as follows — 

Mr. P. Kelly ■ 
Mrs. M. Corrick • 
Mr. J. Willis 
Mr. T. Sault 
Miss M. Allender 
Mr. R. Gibson 
Mr. B. Callanan 
Miss W. Clark 
Mr. A. Parkin 
Mr. B. Burbage 
Miss M. Lester 
Dr. B. Smith. 

This report is made in accordance with a 
resolution of the Executive Council dated 
30th day of March, 1976. 

Alan Parkin, Secretary 
Tom Sault 



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March ' April 




Amount of Fund at 31 December 1974 
Interest on Investments and Bank Account 





Amount of Fund at 31 December 1974 $6,996 

Interest on Investment and Bank Account 357 

Surplus for the year from — 

Ferns of Victoria and Tasmania $2,332 

Victorian Toadstools and Mushrooms 55 

Vegetation of Wyperfeld National Park 33 

Wild Flowers of Wilson's Promontory National Park .... 25 

Birds of the Dandenongs 9 


Amount of Fund at 31 December 1975 $9,807 


Amount of Account at 31 December 1974 
Booksales Account Profit 



Less — 

Purchase Library Books and Equipment transferred to Surplus Account 26 

Amount of Account at 31 December 1975 $1,032 

Statement by the Members of the Executive Council 

In the opinion of the members of the Executive Council of the FIELD 
NATURALISTS CLUB OF VICTORIA, the accompanying Balance Sheet is drawn 
up so as to give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Club as at 
31 December 1975, and the accompanying Statement of Income and Expenditure is 
drawn up so as to give a true and fair view of the surplus of the Club for the year 
ended 31 December 1975. 

Signed in accordance with a resolution of the Executive Council on 30th March 1976. 

Alan Parkin, Secretary 
Tom Sault 

Statement by the Principal Accounting Officer 

I, Daniel E. Mclnnes, being the officer-in-charge of the preparation of the accom- 
panying accounts of the FIELD NATURALISTS CLUB OF VICTORIA for the 
year ended 31 December 1975 state that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, 
such accounts give a true and fair view of the matters required by Section 162 of the 
Companies Act 1961, to be dealt with in the accounts. 

Signed at Melbourne on the 30th day of March 1976. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(Continued from page 38) 

r?> . ™ i At l he Rational Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, at 8 p.m.) 
First Wednesday in the Month — Geology Group. 

5 May — Subject: "The New Ice Age". Members Discussion. 

2 June — Subject: "Lunar Geology" — New Findings. Speaker: Prof. Lovering 

All Club members invited. 
Third Wednesday in the Month — Microscopical Group 

21 April, 19 May, 16 June. 
Second Thursday in the Month — Botany Group. 

8 April: "The Story of Linnaeus" by Mr J. A. Baines. 

13 May: Address by a member of Bendigo Field Naturalists Club. 

10 June: "The Family Proteaceae" by Miss L. White. 

Each meeting includes a quarter hour address for beginners — various subjects. 

(At the Conference Room, The Museum, Melbourne, at 8 p.m.) 
First Monday in the Month — Marine Biology and Entomology Group 

3 May, 7 June, 5 July. 
Fourth Thursday in the Month — Field Survey Group. 

22 April, 27 May, 24 June. 

(At the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Brown Street, 

Heidelberg, at 8 p.m.) 
First Thursday in the Month — Mammal Survey Group. 
6 May, 3 June, 1 July. 


Day Group — Any Member is Welcome — Third Thursday in the Month. 
No meeting in April as Easter holidays intervene. 
Thursday, 20 May — Institute of Archaeology of Australia. Meet at Fitzroy Gardens 
Kiosk at 11.30 a.m. After lunch proceed to Ancient Times House, 116 Little 
Bourke Street, for a guided tour for which there will be a 50 cent charge. 
Thursday, 17 June — Seeing Eye Dog School, Thanet Street, Malvern. Meet at 
Central Park, corner Wattletree and Burke Roads, East Malvern, at 11.30 a.m. 
Thursday, 15 July — New Biological Display, National Museum. Details later. 

Geology Group — Any Member with their own car invited to excursions. 
Sunday, 9 May — Beveridge — "Minerals in a Volcano". Meet at left-hand turn-off 

to Beveridge from the Hume Highway at 10.00 a.m. 
Sunday, 13 June — "Royal Park Fossils" (afternoon only). Meet at Royal Park 

Station, 2.00 p.m. 

Botany Group — All Club members welcome — Last Saturday in the month. 
24 April: FNCV Kinglake property; leader Miss M. Allender. 
29 May: Fungi; leader Mr B. Fuhrer. 
26 June: Ferns; leader Mrs Webb- Ware. 


Field Survey Group— 10-11 April. 8-9 May. (Details, Robin Sandell, 83 8009, home.) 
Mammal Survey Group — 16-19 April. 15-16 May. (Details, Ray Gibson, 62 4007, 

Marcr/April 79 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

Established 1880 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora. 

His Excellency the Honorable Sir HENRY WINNEKE, K.C.M.G., O.B.E., Q.C. 

Key Office-Bearers, 1975-1976. 

Mr. P. KELLY, 260 The Boulevard, East Ivanhoe, 3079. 

Correspondence Secretary: Mr. GARNET JOHNSON, 20 Syclare Avenue, Chadstone, 

Treasurer - Subscription Secretary: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Wavcrley Rd., East 

Malvern, 3145. 
lion. Editor: Miss M. J. LESTER, 4/210 Domain Road, South Yarra, 3141. (26 1967.) 
Hon, Librarian: Mr. J. MARTINDALE, c/o National Herbarium, The Domain, 

South Yarra. 
Hon Excursion Secretary: Miss M. ALLENDER, 19 Hawthorn Avenue, Caulfield, 

3151. (52 2749.) 
Magazine Sales Officer: Mr. D. E. McINNES. 
Archives Officer: Mr. CALLANAN, 29 Reynards St., Coburg, 3058. Tel. 36 0587. 

Croup Secretaries 

Botany: Mrs. RUTH ANDERS, 7 Harrington Drive, Ashwopd, 3137. (25 3816.) 
Day Group: Miss D. M. BELL, 17 Tower Street, Mont Albert, 3127. (89 2850.) 
Field Surrey: R. D. SANDELL, 39 Rubens Gve., Canterbury, 3126. (83 8009) 
Geology: Mr. T. SAULT. 

Mammal Survey: Miss Wendy CLARK, 97 Faraday Street, Carlton, 3053. 
Microscopical: Mr. M. H. MEYER, 36 Milroy St., East Brighton. (96 3268.) 


Membership of the F.N.C.V. is open to any person interested in natural history. 
The Victorian Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and 
lending library is available and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the 
several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Rates of Subscriptions for 1975 


Joint Metropolitan 

Joint Retired Members 

Country Subscribers, and Retired Persons over 65 

Joint Country 


Subscriptions to Vict. Nat. . . 

Overseas Subscription . . 

Junior with "Naturalist" 

Individual Magazines 

All subscriptions should be made payable to the Field Naturalist Club of Victoria and 
the Subscription Secretary. 











posted to 



i/ol. 93, No. 







Published by the 



in which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 





Category "J5" bk 


Registered in Australia for transmission by post as a periodical. 


At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra. 


Monday, 14 June (8.00 p.m.)— Queen's Birthday Holiday. 

Speaker — Mr. Ian Morrison. 
Subject— "Nature Walkabout". 

Monday, 12 July (8.00 p.m.)— 

Speaker— Mr. S. J. Cowling, Assistant Director, Wild Life Branch, Fisheries and 

Wild Life Division. 
Subject— 'The Objects of the Wild Life Branch". 

Monday, 9 August (8.00 p.m.)— 

Speaker— Dr. Peter Attiwill. 
Subject — "Plants and the Atmosphere". 
New Members— June General Meeting: 

Mr. Geoff Bird, 7/28 Mcntone Parade, Mentone, 3194. 

Miss Hetty Berrett, 1 1/321 Beaconsfield Parade, St. Kilda, 3182 (Ecology). 

Mr Andrew (alder. 8 Oak Street, Canterbury, 3126 (Mammal Survey, Entomology). 

Mrs. Elizabeth A. Jacka, 5 Westminster Street, Halwyn, 3103 (Botany and Marine) 

Ms .lean A. Kerle, 10 C'ressy Street, Malvern, 3 144. 

Mr. Cleve W. Lyster, 47 Royal Parade Reservoir, 3073 (Microscopy). 

Mrs. Marjorie Oates, 14/108 George Street, East Melbourne, 3002." 

Miss Desley K. Soden, 6/161 Wellington Parade South, Jolimont, 3002 (Mammal Survey and 
Hot any). 


Mr. Brian Dvvyer and M. I McDonald, 166 Powlett Street, Hast Melbourne, 3002. 

Mr. Nigel H. Sinnott and Mrs. Kathy H. Sinnott, 45 Lincoln Road, Kssendon, 3040 (Mycology 
and Botany). 

Mr. John D. Miller and Mrs. Jillian M. Miller, 10/26 Garton Street, North Carlton, 3054. 
( ountry: 

Mr. John Linder, Stumpy Gully Road, Ralnarring, 3926. 

Mr. David J. Stewart, 15 Wynne Street, West Rosebud, 3940. 

Mr. P Rush, I.indenow South, Vie., 3866. 


Sunday, 20 June— Keith Turnbull Research Station, Bullato Road, Frankston. The 
coach will leave Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m., fare $3.40, bring one meal. Any 
Members travelling by private car should be at the Research Station by 1.00 p.m. 
This Station is part o( the Department of Crown Land and Survey and carries 
out research on weeds and pests. 

Sunday, 18 July— Yarra Bend National Park. This will be a follow-up of the Boneseed 
weeding day held last year, and the plan is to go over the same area pulling up 
plants missed on the previous excursion and seedlings which have grown since. 
After lunch there will be a nature ramble through the Park. Meet at the Pioneer 
Monument at 10.00 a.m. Transport by private car or Kew Tramway Bus from 
Flinders Street. Lunch at the boatshed picnic area. Bring gardening gloves as 
young plants are easily pulled out. 

Sunday, 15 August — Cardinia Reservoir and visit to Jells Road M.M.B.W. Park on 
the way. Leader, D. E. Mclnnes. Details next issue. 

Saturday, 21 August-Sunday, 5 September— New South Wales. The itinerary for this 
proposed excursion is to leave Saturday, 21 August, stay overnight at Orbost, 
travel to Bateman's Bay for the second night, then on to Cronulla where the 
party will stay until 28/8/76 with day trips to Royal National Park, Heathcote 
State Park and other areas of natural history interest. On the 28/8/76 the party 
will proceed to Gosford which is well placed for visits to Brisbane Waters 
National Park, Kuring-gai Chase, The Australian Reptile Park, Floraland 
Bouddi State Park, Dharug National Park, etc., remaining there until 2/9/76' 
when the return journey will commence, returning home by an inland route The 
trip will occupy 16 days and the cost for the coach and accommodation hotel 
and motel, mostly room only, will be approximately $265.00 plus 'meals 
Bookings accompanied by $20.00 deposit should be made with the excursion 
secretary as soon as possible. 

(Continued on page 123) 
82 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The Victorian 

Volume 93, Number 3 9 July 1976 

Editor: Margery J.Lester 
Committee: Margaret Corrick, Reuben Kent, Roland Myers, Brian Smith, Grif Ward 

Nesting Habits of Little Grebes, by N.T.Rossiter 84 

Two Rose-Cafer Beetles, by J.Alderson 86 

Aldo Massola, Anthropologist of the Aborigines 91 

Large Waves at Lome, by Edmund Gill 92 

Alison Ashby, 1975 Natural History Medallionist 95 

Zonation at Flinders Reef, by R.N.Synnot and G.C.Wescott . . 97 

Sea Urchin Spines for microscope slides, by H.H. Bishop 107 

Rabbits on Gippsland Islands, by J.W.Edmonds and others . . . 110 

Vegetation of SE Melbourne, by P. Bridgewater and B.Wellington 113 

Generic Names of Victorian Flora, by J.A.Baines 121 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria: The Botany Group 124, Report 
of the Annual General Meeting 125. 

Cover illustration: Little Grebes nesting on Miss Rossiter's dam at 
South Wangaratta; see page 84-85. Photograph by Len Robinson. 

Observations on the Nesting Habits of the 
Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis 


For two successive years I have 
been able to observe a pair of Little 
Grebes nesting and rearing their 
young on my dam. The dam is about 
100 yards in front of the house from 
which I get an uninterrupted view of 
their activities. 


In both years there was a remark- 
able similarity in the timing of major 
events in the domestic life of the 
Little Grebes. In 1974, the first grebe 
arrived on October 2nd (1975 — Oct 
3rd). On October 4th (1975 — Oct 
5th) another one appeared, and very 
soon it was apparent they were making 
a nest. 

The Nardoo (Marsilea sp) which is 
very plentiful in the dam seemed to 
be pushed into a clump, and the birds 
built on top of it. The nest consisted 
of long pieces of Nardoo that they 
obtained by diving and bringing to the 
surface about foot-long stems which 
were placed across the platform of 
Nardoo leaves. They worked very 
busily on the nest for several days 
until the platform was about three 
inches high. 

On October 8th (1975 — Oct 9th) 
the first egg was seen and on the tenth 
there were two. The male continued to 
bring stems of Nardoo and place them 
on the nest, perhaps to maintain its 
height above water level as it subsided 
under the weight of the female bird 
and eggs. 

For four weeks from October 10th, 
a bird was sitting on the eggs almost 
constantly, but when danger 
threatened (people, shags, or other 

predators) it would cover the eggs in 
a frenzy of haste with loose Nardoo, 
hop off into the water and usually 

On November 4th a tiny chick was 
seen; next day there were two and 
finally three. These are striped, and at 
first ride on the back of either of the 
parent birds, slipping off frequently 
for very brief swims but never far 
from the adults. 

Very soon this family of five was 
depleted. On the morning of Novem- 
ber 11th two adult birds were seen 
but, later in the day, two observers 
were certain there was only one adult 
and one chick left on the dam. The 
remaining chick was quite often away 
from its mother now, but what hap- 
pened to the other two is a mystery — 
taken by a predator perhaps, or en- 
tangled in Nardoo and drowned? The 
chick grew rapidly and was still being 
fed by the mother three weeks after 
hatching but becoming increasingly 

On December 15th and 16th the 
female seemed to be building up the 
nest again, and on the 17th another 
adult appeared, presumably a male. 
Emitting a whirring noise, this bird 
chased the young grebe whenever it 
approached either adult. Because of 
the nest preparation on 15th and 16th, 
I had expected another brood to be 
started, but the second adult stayed 
only two weeks — keeping up its hos- 
tility to the young grebe throughout. 
Both the older birds were seen on 
December 29th, but on the 30th only 

* "Nakkala," South Wangaratta 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

one adult and the chick were sighted; 
the next day the latter was on its own 
and remained until January 1 1th when 
it too departed. 

Because I could not distinguish be- 
tween the male and female, I have 
assumed that the more active nest- 
builder was the male, and that the 
bird mostly on the nest was the female; 
also that it was the female which re- 
mained with the chick. I am not sure 
whether both birds shared the job of 
sitting on the eggs, but both Certainly 
ted the chicks and both carried them 
on their backs. 

1975. Repent performance 
but with extras 

In 1975 the whole programme was 

repeated one day later in the dales. 
This time there were four eggs, 
although only two hatched, and again 
Only one chick survived more than a 
tew days. The male bird was not 
sighted alter the morning of the day 
the chicks were first seen, so the 
female was left to look after the 
solitary chick. 

On November 28th another grebe 
appeared (or the other re-appeared). 
Again the new arrival showed hos- 
tility to the young bird which kept ;i 
respectful distance, but the female still 
seemed to have an interest in junior. 

This time, immediately the adult 
male arrived, the nest building began 
and eggs were seen in the nest about 
December 1st. Now the male became 
very aggressive towards the first brood 
chick, chasing it right out o\' the 
water on several occasions; it was not 
seen after December 12th. 

On December 25th two second 
brood chicks were sighted; the next 
day there were four, all swimming 
strongly SO they may have hatched 
several days before they were first 
noticed on Christmas morning. The 
male stayed for over a week helping 

with the family, but was not seen 
after January 2nd. The female left 
about the l(>th when the four young 
were almost full grown and able to 
fend for themselves. All four stayed 
on the dam for another month and 
then left singly, the last one about 
March 6th. 

I think it is interesting to note that, 
although the male is an indefatigable 
nest-builder working literally from 
dawn to dusk collecting nesting 
material from all over the dam until 
it was no longer needed, he does not 
take equal responsibility in feeding 
and caring iov the young; he per 
formed this chore when there were 
four chicks but only for the first week, 
after which he left his mate to cope 
on her own. 

Rising water 

An event oi' interest occurred when 
the level oi the dam was rising rapidly 
due to prolonged heavy rain. As the 
nest appeared to be attached to the 
growing Nardoo plants, this change in 
water level must have presented a 
problem to the grebes. Although in 

these circumstances oi' rising water 

level the Nardoo grows until the 
leaves are again on the surface, there 
might be a time lag oi' several days 
before it catches up — too long for a 
nest in danger oi submersion. On re- 
turning home after a day's absence 
during this period, I ionm\ the nest 
floating freely at the Other end oi the 
dam, presumably cut adrift by the 
grebes to save it from being Hooded. 
Thereafter i! drifted up and down the 
dam with the changing wind, until it 
blew against the bank facing the pre- 
vailing wind and stayed there. 

I am looking forward to another 
repeat performance by the grebes next 

spring, hoping for further interesting 

sidelights on their nesting habits. 



Behaviour and Larvae of two Rose Chafer Beetles 

Eupoecila australasiae (Don), Diaphonia dorsalis (Don) 

(Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae) 

uy J. Alderson * 


About 120 species of Cetoniinae 
occur in Australia, and all are diurnal 
and feed on nectar. Most species are 
attractively patterned or have metallic 
colouring. They are well represented 
in collections but, as far as I am 
aware, little is known of their be- 
haviour and their predators, and no 
descriptions of their larvae have been 

In this paper observations on the 
behaviour and the predators of the 

two rose chaffer beetles, Eupoecila 
australasiae (Don) and Diaphonia 
dorsalis (Don), are reported. Descrip- 
tions of the mature larvae of the two 
beetles are also presented. 


The two species occur in the coastal 
region from Queensland to the South 
Australian border. The specimens of 
mature larvae described here were 

* Fisheries and Wildlife Division, Arthur Rylah 
Institute for Environmental Research, Victoria. 

Plate I: 

Below Eupoecila australasiae 

At left Diaphonia dorsalis 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

collected on hillsides north-east of 

Adult Eupoecila australasiae (plate 
I) ranged in length from 12 to 22 mm 
and from late December to early 
February are often seen feeding on 
the flowers of Austral grass-tree 
(X author rhoea australis), sweet bur- 
saria (Bursaria spinosa), prickly tea- 
tree (Leptospermum junipcrinum), 
Angophora and a variety of Eucalyp- 
tus spp. 

Adult Diaphonia dorsalis (plate I) 
ranged from 23 to 28 mm but ap- 
peared to feed only on the flowers of 

Plate II: 

Pupa of Eupoecila australasiae 
1. Ventral view. 2. Lateral view. 
3. Dorsal view. 4. Head enlarged 

Behaviour and predators 

These fast-flying beetles fold their 
elytra down in direct but somewhat 
zigzagged flight which, combined 
with their habit of feeding concealed 
deep in blossom, tends to protect them 
against air-borne attack from birds. 
After prolonged feeding on eucalypt 
flowers on hot days (Jan-Feb) indi- 
viduals from both species have been 
seen to collide with rocky outcrops or 
to fall out of trees. Once on the 
ground the beetles move about in a 
seemingly intoxicated manner and 
their feeble unsuccessful attempts to 
take flight suggests that they are more 
vulnerable to predation at this time. 
Black-faced cuckoo-shrike (Coracina 
novaehollandiac) and Australian noisy 
miners (Manoriua mclauocephald) 
were seen to prey on beetles on the 
ground. Examinations of fox (V id pes 
vulpes) scats have also shown evi- 
dence of predation; this may have 
occurred when the beetles were in- 
toxicated, when they had landed on 
the ground as the air became too cool 
for flight, or when they were laying 
eggs. The remains of E. australasiae 
have been found in trout stomachs 
examined in the laboratory at the 
Arthur Rylah Institute. 


The larvae of E. australasiae feed 
only on woody fibre and are known 
to inhabit the root systems of grass- 
trees (Froggatt). During the present 
study, larvae were found under bark 
at the butts of dead trees and in fallen 
eucalypt logs (about 10 years old) 
which were at the stage of being 
broken down by cockroaches (Blatti- 
dae). The larvae were found to in- 
habit the old cockroach galleries and 
to live on the cockroaches discarded 
wood chewings. 

D. dorsalis larvae were found often 
in association with cockroaches, centi- 
pedes or passalid beetles in soil under 

May 7 June 


eucalypt logs. Both mature and im- 
mature larvae migrated to the soil sur- 
face on the underside of eucalypt logs 
during winter months, when the lar- 
vae were totally encrusted with par- 
ticles of soil agglutinated to the body 
setae. This apparently gives protection 
against soil-dwelling predators, such 
as mites. Mites (unidentified) were 
frequently found feeding on the pre- 
spiracular sclerites when larvae were 
not encrusted with soil particles. 

The mature larvae of E. australasiae 
were found to construct pupation cells 
in autumn (Mar-April) and to pupate 

in spring (Sept-Oct), the beetles 
emerging in summer (Jan-Feb). The 
mature larvae of D. dorsalis often dig 
to a depth of 10 cm to construct 
pupation cells and the timing of their 
pupation and emergence of the beetles 
is similar to that of E. australasiae. 

The cells of both species are con- 
structed from faecal material; the cell 
of E. australasiae consisted of woody 
fibre and was oval, about 23 mm long 
and 15 mm wide; the cell of D. dor- 
salis yielded little evidence of root 
fibre having been consumed. The 
method of cell construction was the 

E australasiae 

D. dorsalis 

Plate III : 

Above left, larva of 
Eupoecila australasiae. 

Above right, larva of 
Diaphonia dorsalis. 

Fig. 1. Head — 
dorsal, without 

2. Labrum — dorsal. 

3. Left maxilla. 

4. Labium — dorsal. 

5. Sclerite. 

6. Leg. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

same for both species. The larvae in- 
duced defecation by stimulating the 
area above the anal lip with closed 
mandibles and then worked the faeces 
into position with the mandibles to 
form the cell wall. The inner surface 
of the cell is then trowelled smooth 
with an up and down movement with 
the closed mandibles. 

General appearance of Larvae of the 
two species 

The structures of ten larvae from 
each collecting site were examined. 
Five specimens from each group were 
preserved and the remainder were 
bred out. 

Plate III 

The larvae of both species vary in 
size and of 10 specimens of each 
species examined, D. dorsalis ranged 
from 70 to 95 mm and E. australasiae 
from 55 to 68 mm on the dorsal 

The larvae of D. dorsalis is more 
robust and the head is considerably 
more retracted than the head of 
E. australasiae. 

The larvae of both species are 
C-shaped, cylindrical, near white in 
colour, with 10 abdominal segments and 
a slightly curved, transverse anal open- 
ing. Three dorsal plicia occur on seg- 
ments 1-7 and transverse rows of long 
setae and more scattered smaller setae, 
on the dorsum of most segments. Cres- 
cent shaped, cribriform spiracles (fig. 5) 
situated on abdominal segments 1-8 and 
those of prothorax are dark brown in 
colour on D. dorsalis, light ochraceous 
on E. australasiae. 

Head (fig. 1 ) ochraceous in colour, 
smooth, broad; half the width of pro- 
thorax. Clypeus short, broad, punctate 
medially, transversely; dark ochraceous 
on the upper half, creamy on the lower 

Labrum (fig. 2) dark ochraceous, 
ovate in shape, tri-lobed, symmetrical 
and setaceous on apical margin with 
pigmentation each side of middle lobe. 
Antennae light ochraceous, four- 
segmented. First segment longest, cylin- 
drical, narrow basallv. Second segment 
similar but half the length of first seg- 


ment. Third segment slightly shorter 
than second segment; somewhat cluvate, 
exserted antero-ventrally. Fourth seg- 
ment conical, narrow basally. Man- 
dibles black, asymmetrical; left mandible 
with four teeth on mesal distal aspect. 
Stridulating organs occur on ventral 
mesal aspect of each mandible. Each 
mandible with pencillus tuft between 
stridulatory area and pencillus comb on 
inner base. 

Maxilla (fig. 3) consists of cardo, 
stipes, three-segmented palp and mala 
with two terminal unci. Maxillary stridu- 
latory area consists of 5-6 stout teeth. 

Labium (fig. 4) with a pair of two- 
segmented palps. 

The three thoracic segments each 
carry a pair of moderately short, four- 
segmented legs (fig. 6). 

Plate IV 

Different characters were found in 
the epipharynges (underside of lab- 
rum); antennae; stridulating organs; 
tarsungulus (terminal segment of leg) 
anal segments. 

Eupoeeila australasiae. 

Epipharynx (fig. 1). Epi pharynx tri- 
lobed, symmetrical, with pigmentation 
each side of middle lobe and a chitinous 
semicircular carina near distal margin of 
median lobe. Distal sensory area with a 
transverse row of 11-12 truncated spines 
which merge into pointed setae medially 
and generally form inner margin of paria 
extending beyond the tormae. Proximad 
of the anterior transverse row of spines 
are 7-8 scattered spines. Pedium dis- 
tinctly scleriotized, devoid of setae. 
Proximal sensory area with medial, 
somewhat triangular black sense cone- 
several fine spines are situated anterior 
to the sense cone. Pternotorma short 
and keeled. Dexiotorma long, about 
one-third the width of epipharyngeal 
suture. Plegmatium with 5-8 short stout 
spines. Some 5-8 setae occur on margin 
of each lateral lobe and some 15 setae 
are situated on anterior margin of the 

Antennae (fig. 2). Terminal segment 
usually with 6-7 sensory spots on apical 

Stridulating organs (fig. 3). Stridula- 
ting area, ovate in shape. 

Tarsungulus (figs. 4, 5). Legs termi- 
nate with a strong curved claw, broad 
basally, with a strong downward directed 
spine on each side near the base. 


Anal segment (not illustrated). Radu- 
lar with short spetula extending beyond 
anal lip fold; without a row of pali on 
each side. 

Diaphonia dorsalis 

Epipharynx (fig. 6). Epipharynx tri- 
lobed, symmetrical, with pigmentation 
each side of middle lobe and a chitinous 
semicircular carina near distal margin of 
median lobe. Distal sensory area with a 
transverse row of 9-12 truncated spines 
which merge into a more scattered field 
of spines and pointed setae medially 
(inner paria margin ill-defined). Scat- 
tered truncated spines proximad of an- 
terior transverse row almost formed 
into second and third rows. Spines and 
setae on right side of inner paria thicker 
than those on left side. 

Proximal sensory area (without sense 
cone) consists of a somewhat quadrate, 
lightly pigmented medial patch, with four 
small black sense spots. Some 8-10 small 
scattered spines are situated transversely, 
anterior to sense spots on proximal sen- 
sory area. Several fine spines are situated 
on the left side mesal aspect of the 
pedium. Pternotorma short and keeled. 
Dexiotorma about i the width of 

epipharyngeal suture. Plegmatium with 
some 8 short stout spines. Some 15 setae 
are situated on anterior margin of the 

Antennae (fig. 7). Third segment with 
one dorsal spot and one spot antero- 
ventrally. Terminal segment with 14-16 
spots covering most of apical half. 

Stridulating organs (fig. 13). Stridula- 
ting area, elongate in shape. 

Tarsungulus (figs. 9, 10). Legs termi- 
nate with a stout tubercle, broad basally, 
somewhat longer and conical on inner 
distal aspect from which one spine is 
situated medially; directed downward. 
Another spine situated on distal, lateral, 
aspect is directed forward and slightly 

Anal segment (fig. 11). Radular in- 
consistent in form often with short 
septula, extending to above anal lip fold 
and with two rows of 8-12 short, stout, 
compressed pali, or with 3-5 pali of 
palidium on basal end of septula. 


I am indebted to Lorraine Alderson, 
Susan Beattie and Fabian Douglas for 
their assistance in collecting data, Peter 
Kelly for his assistance in providing 

Plate IV : 

Above — structures of 
Eupoecila australasiae 

1. Epipharynx. 

2. Antennae. 

3. Mandibles. 

4. Tarsungulus, lateral. 

5. Tarsungulus, ventral. 

Below — structures of 
Diaphonia dorsalis. 

6. Epipharynx. 

7. Antennae. 

8. Mandibles. 

9. Tarsungulus, lateral. 

10. Tarsungulus, ventral. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

specimens and literature and Mr. C. G. 
L. Gooding for allowing me to examine 
his collection. Also I am grateful to the 
following members of the staff: Dr. D. 
Evans for reading the draft, J. Cooper 
(photographer) for Plates II-IV and K. 
Beinssen, J. Seebeck, J. Bacher and R. 
Warneke for assistance in many ways. 


Peterson, A., 1960. Larvae of Insects, Part 
II, Columbus, Ohio, 416 pages. 

Ritcher, P. O., 1967. Keys for Identifying 
Larvae of Scarabaeoidea to the Family 
and Subfamily (Coleoptera) . Occasional 
Papers — No. 10, Bureau of Entomology, 
California Department of Agriculture. 

Aldo Massola 
Italo-Australian Anthropologist of the Aborigines 

When, on 11 November 1975, four 
months after his death, an obituary 
appreciation of Aldo Massola ap- 
peared in the Melbourne 'Herald', it 
came as a surprise to many of our 
members. He was a valued, regular 
contributor to 'The Victorian Natura- 
list' and we record this summary of 
his life. 

Aldo Massola was born in Rome 
and came to Australia, aged 13, when 
his father was sent out here on busi- 
ness and decided to stay. At Mel- 
bourne University, Aldo studied 
anthropology under Professor Leon- 
hard Adam, from whom he learned 
the fascination of South-east Asian 
cultures. Then he undertook the self- 
imposed task, pursued persistently and 
lovingly over many years, of rescuing 
from oblivion what remained of the 
lore of the Australian aborigines. He 
was just in time; many of his dark- 
skinned informants have now passed 
from this world, and their descendants 
have little real knowledge of the 
ancient traditions, languages, customs, 
etc., and will need to study what has 

been recorded in the white man's 
printed books, such as those of 

For ten years Massola was Curator 
at the National Museum of Victoria, 
but most of his working life was spent 
as head waiter at Mario's, Mel- 
bourne's best-known restaurant in its 
heyday when owned by the Vigano 

Aldo Massola contributed more 
than 100 papers to scientific and 
natural history journals; many were 
published in 'The Victorian Naturalist' 
during the years 1956-75, most of 
them reporting discoveries of pre- 
viously unknown cave shelters and 
rock paintings. His books include 
'Bunjil's Cave' (1968), 'Aboriginal 
Place Names of South-east Australia' 
(1968), 'Journey to Aboriginal Vic- 
toria' (1969), 'The Aborigines of 
South-eastern Australia As They 
Were' (1971), 'Aboriginal Mission 
Stations in Victoria' and 'Coranderrk: 
a History of the Aboriginal Station' 

J. A. Baines 

Preparing material for 'The Victorian Naturalist 9 

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Large Waves at Lome, Victoria 

in Edmund Gill 

On 16-17 May, 1975, there were 
extra large waves along the Otway 
COaSt. These were Studied at Lome 
and at various places between there 
and Apollo Bay. A storm was running 
at the time, and this was thought by 
most tO be the cause of the waves, 
but it was not so. 

At Lome where the eoast runs 
NNL-SSW the winds were coming 
over the hills from the NW and W, 
and indeed were working against the 
waves, tending to flatten them. The 
wind was blowing trails of spray sea- 
wards from the tops of the landward- 
moving waves creating "horses' 
manes" as they are popularly called. 
The large waves were swell waves 
from the Southern Ocean, the Stormi- 
est oeean in the world. Because this 
ocean surrounds Antarctica in the 
Stormy latitudes, the winds have 
almost limitless fetch. So powerful are 
ils swell waves that they cross the 
entire Pacific and break on the shores 
of Alaska. 

A large horizontal shore platform 

occurs at North Lome just NL oi 

Stony (reek in greenish-grey arkosc 
or greywacke, locally called Jump 
Rock. Having already surveyed this 

platform, we could quantify the 

amount and speed oi the water being 
deposited on it. The platform is supra- 
tidal, standing 1.5 m above HWL. 
From the outermost edge oi the plat- 
form to the original cliff now covered 
with rOCkfalls from road works, the 
platform is 212 m long and 57 m 

Wave base is half the distance be- 
tween crests, so the waves broke sea- 
ward oi the platform at varying dis- 
tances according to their dimensions. 


Final seconds of a wave's life 

The waves were reaching the shore 
at about three per minute. As a wave 
came into shallow water, it steepened 
and at the same time snatched up sand 
covering the rocky sealloor. Thus the 
wave changed colour (because oi the 
yellow sand) and changed from mere 
water to a 'cutting compound' of sand 
and surf. It scrubbed the shore plat- 
form clean, just like the wooden decks 
oi sailing ships were scrubbed clean 
with sand and sea water. Its high 
energy also quarried out blocks of 
rock and hurled them to the back of 
the platform. 

A broken wave took 5 seconds to 
travel from the top oi the rampart to 
the rockfall at the back oi the plat- 
form, a distance oi 30 m, so the speed 
was about 20 km/hr. 

As shown in the photographs, the 
surf covered the platform generally to 
the height oi the rampart = 1 m. As 
a m 3 oi water weighs one tonne, the 

DcscTiprion of the photographs 

Top, A large swell wave breaks sea- 
ward of the rampart whieh stands up to 
1 m above the shore platform whieh is 
1.5 m above HWL. The foaming surf 
from the previous wave is still retreating. 
Photo from Oeean Road at top of cliff 
above platform at Jump Roek, North 

Middle. A breaking wave crashes on the 
rampart with tremendous impulsive load- 
ing. The turbulent surf oi the previous 
large wave has not yet all drained away. 
The wave rushes across the platform at 
20 km/hr loading it with 12,000 tonnes of 

Bottom, Water rushes with a sound 
like a waterfall down the 3 m deep 
channel at the NL end oi the platform: 
it is full to the brim. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 


Photos: Author. 



platform was loaded about 3 times 
per minute with 12,000 tonnes of 
water. The water was lighter because 
of the air in it, but also heavier be- 
cause of the sand in it, so the weight 
of a m :{ of water is near enough for 
our purpose. 

In the 20 seconds before the next 
wave came, the water poured tumul- 
tuously from the supratidal platform. 
The heaviest return flows were down 
the channels. This extra long platform 
has a channel at the Stony Creek end, 
and another at the NE end. The cata- 
racts of returning waters made a noise 
like a waterfall, and washed back into 
the sea the sand that the waves had 
dumped on the platform. 

The return currents through the 
rampart were not as powerful as those 
down the channels, so a narrow zone 
of sandy water skirted the platform, 
while opposite the channels masses of 
sandy water were jetted much farther 
into the sea. When the next wave 
arrived, some of this sand in suspen- 
sion was caught up and recycled to 
the platform, abrading and being 
abraded. So large a load of water was 
sometimes hurled on to the platform, 
that it could not be cleared before 
another arrived. Conversely, when a 
smaller wave arrived, the platform was 
well drained. 

Wave as deck-scrubber 

When the fury of the swell waves 
had abated, we returned to see what 
changes had been wrought. We 
noticed first that the rock surface had 
been scrubbed clean, all the algae hav- 
ing been stripped away. The platform 
surface was slightly reduced. 

Thousands of the little marine snail 
Melarapha live on this platform, and 
apparently feed on the algae there. I 
wondered what they would do without 
this food source. But I took a couple 
home and they were on my desk for 
over two months yet were still alive, 

so apparently they remain on the plat- 
form until the algae grow again. What 
we did notice was that the population 
was greatly reduced. There were none 
on the broad flat areas of the plat- 
form, but many were crowded along 
joint places and in other protected 
places. Reduction of population would 
lessen the strain on food supplies. Ap- 
parently all these things are just part 
of the normal melaraphan way of life! 

Wave as weight-lifter 

Large pieces of rock had been 
quarried by the waves and carried 
across to the rear of the platform. 
They were slabs 20-30 cm thick ripped 
from the vicinity of the rampart. 
Some lay flat, while others were left 
leaning against rockfall boulders. 
Some still had Melarapha on them, 
and the absence of this snail in the 
vicinity suggested they had travelled 
with the rock. The rock dimensions 
and their pattern of oxidation colours 
made it easy to trace whence they 
had come. 

Archimedes' principle states that a 
rock is lightened in water to the extent 
of the weight of the water displaced. 
It was not difficult for these fiercely 
energetic waves to remove these slabs 
and sweep them across the platform. 
The largest pieces were measured, and 
taking their specific gravity as 2.7, 
they were calculated to weigh from 1 
to 1.5 tonnes. 

Still larger waves 

West of Cape Otway, beyond Bass 
Strait, still bigger waves are en- 
countered, because the sea is open 
from Australia to Antarctica. 

I once stood during a storm on the 
top of a 45 m (150 ft) cliff at Port 
Campbell, when a really big sea was 
running. A local storm from the SW 
was adding to the energy of an ex- 
ceptionally powerful SW swell. When 
a big wave struck the cliff, the whole 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

ground trembled at least to 100 m 
back where I was standing. It im- 
pressed us that these millions of tonnes 
of ro~k could be made to vibrate by 
the impulsive loading of one wave. 
Then the splash from the wave shot 
15 m higher than those tall cliffs, and 
the fierce wind whipped the water back 
over any bystanders! 

If the power of the SW swell could 

be harnessed, Australia would have all 
the energy it needed. Waves are solar 
energy mediated through the winds. 
Two scientists studying the Bikini 
Atoll calculated that the 2 m (7 ft) 
waves pounding the reef at that time, 
were working continuously at the rate 
of half a million horsepower. And 
most of that energy was coming all the 
way from the Southern Ocean! 

Alison M. Ashby 
1975 Australian Natural History Medallionist 

The award of the 1975 Australian 
Natural History Medallion to Alison 
M. Ashby was announced in Septem- 
ber, 1975 (Vic. Nat. 92: 9); the 
presentation was made at the March, 
1976 meeting of the Society for Grow- 
ing Australian Plants (South Aus- 
tralian Region), who first nominated 
Miss Ashby for the Award. 

Alison Marjorie Ashby was born in 
South Australia and has lived there 
all her life. Her father, the late Edwin 
Ashby, was himself a dedicated 
naturalist with particular interest in 
malacology, ornithology and botany, 
and many of his collections are in the 
South Australian Museum. He was 
also very interested in native plants 
and achieved remarkable success as a 
propagator. Early in Alison Ashby's 
life the family moved to Blackwood 
in the Adelaide hills, where several 
acres of their property were devoted 
to the cultivation of native plants. 
The remaining thirty acres of this 
land were eventually given to the 
Adelaide Botanic Gardens Trust by 
Edwin Ashby's son, A. K. Ashby. 

At the age of twelve, Alison Ashby 
sat down during one of the school 
holidays to paint all the Australian 
wildflowers. Although her enthusiasm 

at the time soon waned, it has re- 
mained her ambition. After leaving 
school she had some lessons from 
Rosa Fiveash and soon developed her 
own individual style. For some years 
family responsibilities kept her at 
home, but from the early 1940's on- 
ward, in spite of ill health and in- 
creasing difficulty in walking, she has 
been able to devote most of her time 
to the growing and painting of wild- 
flowers, travelling widely throughout 
Australia in search of material. It is 
reported that on one occasion she 
returned from Western Australia with 
three thousand plants in her suitcase, 
having buried all her clothes in the 
bush to make room for them. 

All the wildflower paintings are 
donated to the South Australian 
Museum, a collection now numbering 
over one thousand. The collection is 
growing annually as she continues to 
paint in Western Australia in the 
spring, and in Kosciusko National 
Park in the summer. 

In 1950 a donation of money to the 
South Australian Museum enabled a 
start to be made on post card repro- 
ductions of some of the paintings and 
162 have so far been issued. 

May 7 June 


Alison Ashby is a tireless cam- 
paigner for the conservation of native 
bushland and for the preservation of 
native species through cultivation. She 
is an extremely skilful propagator 
and is always ready to back up her 
recommendations with practical help 
and advice, and often with financial 
assistance as well. 

In 1957 she gave "Watiparinga", a 
77 acre property at Sleep's Hill left to 
her by her father, to the National 
Trust of South Australia. She also 
undertook to stock almost half of it 
with native plants of her own raising. 
In addition, she has planted reserves 

in the National Park at Belair and 
two reserved enclosures on a nephew's 
property in the Inman Valley. 

Miss Ashby's work has been widely 
recognised; she is a foundation 
Honorary Life Member of the Society 
for Growing Australian Plants, an 
Honorary Life Member of the Tree 
Preservation and Gardening Society, 
a Life Member of the Field Natura- 
lists' Society of South Australia, and 
an Honorary Associate in Botany of 
the South Australian Museum; in 
1960 she was honoured with the 
award of M.B.E. 

M. G. Corrick. 

Natural History at the Coast 

In December we plan to publish a 
special issue of 'The Victorian Naturalist' 
consisting almost entirely of articles re- 
lating to our coasts. 

Science and research workers might 
have relevant material that they are plan- 
ning or are already preparing for publica- 
tion. Such articles will be gratefully 

And we expect many layman articles 
from members of the FNCV; in fact we 
hope to receive at least two items from 
each Study Group, as well as from other 
people. Some items might be only a few 

lines, but others could be more substantial. 
Geology, land and sea plants, marine 
creatures, insects etc, birds, tides — the 
possibilities are almost unlimited. 

When preparing an article for publica- 
tion, please have it typed with double 
line spacing and leave at least 3 cm 
(about 1J") clear margin at left. Captions 
to figures should be typed on a separate 
page. It is desirable for the editor to 
receive two copies of material, at least 
of the text matter. 

Material for this special coast issue 
should be with editor by 30 September. 

Natural History Medallion Trust Fund 

We will be pleased to receive donations from organisations that feel this Fund is 
worthy of their support. 

The following donations have been received and we thank the donors : 
Amount invested as at 10 March 1976 $299 

Peninsula Field Naturalists Club 

Total $304 

Garnet Johnson, Assistant Secretary 


In the Australian Natural History Series by Collins: "Frogs" by Michael J. Tyler. 
256 pages. $12.95, discount to members. Postage 90c within 50 km, $1.20 within Victoria. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Zonation at Flinders Reef, Westernport Bay 

An introduction to Victorian intertidal ecology 
with specific reference to the Flinders Reef, Westernport Bay 

by R. N. Synnot and G. C. Wescott* 

Few descriptions of patterns of in- 
tertidal zonation are available for the 
flora and fauna on Victorian rocky 
shores. There is some information on 
sheltered areas in bays, e.g. King, 
Black & Ducker (1971) for Port 
Phillip and Smith, Coleman & Watson 
(1975) for Westernport Bay. Dakin 
(1952), Bennett & Pope (1953), Knox 
(1963), Stephenson & Stephenson 

(1972) and King (1972), have dis- 
cussed the general features of zona- 
tion and biogeography of the organ- 
isms present on exposed coastlines. 

Among more general works on in- 
tertidal ecology, Dakin (1952) 
remains the only comprehensive Aus- 
tralian work in this field. Unfortun- 
ately it deals mainly with New South 
Wales shores and it is also taxonomi- 
cally obsolete. Morton and Miller 

(1973) give an excellent account of 
the ecology of organisms on all shore 
types in New Zealand; many of the 
organisms discussed are closely re- 
lated to Australian ones. The only 
book which is concerned wholly with 




Cape©.—*' /T~\ 

Schank /~~^Sj, 

Figure 1. The location of the Flinders 

the marine fauna of Victoria is 
MacPherson and Gabriel's (1962) 
"Marine Molluscs of Victoria". 

This paper describes the ecology of 
the Flinders reef at the heads of 
Westernport Bay (Figure 1). This 
locality is an example of a semi- 
exposed reef (scnsu Bennett & Pope, 
1960), and the fauna and flora found 
here are typical of the southern Vic- 
torian coastline. It also provides an 
introduction to the basic physical and 
biological features of intertidal eco- 
logy. For this purpose a few general 
points are presented before the fauna 
and flora of Flinders are described in 

Intertidal Zonation 

Zonation, the distribution of ani- 
mals and plants in distinct bands along 
the shore, is most easily observed on 
rock platforms which slope gently 
towards the sea. The bands are termed 
intertidal (or vertical) zonation pat- 
terns. The causes of zonation are not 
yet completely clear. Doty (1946) pro- 
posed that the zones are determined 
by fluctuations in sea level resulting 
from tidal cycles. That is, the higher 
an organism occurs on the shore, the 
greater is the time it will be exposed 
to air (and consequently to desiccation 
stress during low tides). Therefore the 
limit of distribution above which in- 
dividuals of a particular species can- 
not survive is controlled by the ex- 

* Department of Zoology, 

University of Melbourne, 

Parkville, 3052, 

Victoria, Australia. 

May 7 June 


treme and mean heights of the low 
and high tides. Hence each species 
occurs in a distinct region, with the 
more distinctive bands, usually those 
of the commoner organisms, combin- 
ing to give an overall zonation 

However, detailed study of the 
biology and ecology of a number of 
intertidal species has now shown that 
the physical features of the shore 
zone (such as tidal heights) do not 
fully explain the patterns of zonation 
observed. Connell (1970, 1972) and 
Paine (1966) have emphasised that 
biological factors, such as predation, 
and competition for food or space, 
may control the lower limit of distri- 
bution of organisms. Thus in general 
it seems that the upper limits of inter- 

Supralittoral zone 



Infrali ttoral 


Upper limit f Llttor;na 

Upper limit of barnacles 

Upper limit of laminanans 


Infrali ttoral zone 

Figure 2. A universal descriptive scheme 
of intertidal zonation (after Stephenson 
and Stephenson, 1972; E.H.W.S.: Ex- 
treme High Water of Spring tides, 
E.L.W.S.: Extreme Low Water of Spring 


tidal distributions are physically con- 
trolled while the lower limits are bio- 
logically determined. 

Stephenson and Stephenson (1949, 
1972) concluded from their investiga- 
tions of intertidal rocky shores on all 
continents that even though patterns 
of intertidal zonation vary consider- 
ably from shore to shore, a number 
of common features may be observed. 
They have provided a universal de- 
scriptive scheme (Figure 2) which is 
followed in this paper. 

There are five main regions 

1) The Supralittoral Zone: This is the 
maritime region immediately above 
the supralittoral fringe. It may extend 
many miles inland. 

2) The Supralittoral Fringe: This area 
receives moisture from extreme high 
tides and wave splash. In areas under 
the influence of strong wave action 
it can be quite wide (up to several 
metres, e.g. on Wilson's Promontory) 
while in protected areas it may be 
very narrow (e.g. less than ten centi- 
metres at Corinella, Westernport Bay). 
The upper limit of this zone is marked 
by the maximum height at which lit- 
torinids (periwinkles) occur. These are 
species of the prosobranch molluscs 
of the genus Littorina (formerly 
Melaraphe). The lower limit of this 
fringe is delineated by the upper edge 
of a prominent "barnacle zone". 

3) The Midlittoral Zone: This area is 
completely exposed during most low 
tides. It contains a high diversity of 
organisms, and extends from the bar- 
nacle zone down to the upper limit of 
large brown algae — kelps (Figure 3). 
This zone is often subdivided into 
upper and lower midlittoral to aid 
discussions of animal and plant 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

4) The Infralitforal Fringe: This area 
extends from the upper limit of kelps 
to the extreme low water of spring 
tides and represents the lowest area 
which is exposed by tides. 

5) The Infralittoral Zone: This zone 
lies below low tide mark and is per- 
manently submerged. 

While all these zones are easily dis- 
cernible on sloping rock platforms, 
they are often difficult to recognise 
in areas which contain rock rubble, 
or are dissected into crevices and rock 
pools. Under these circumstances the 
basic patterns still exist, but are sub- 
stantially modified by local environ- 
mental effects. For example, an or- 
ganism which lives in a rock pool is 
not exposed to desiccation, no matter 
what the height of the pool; but it is 
subject to other stresses, such as 
changes in salinity and higher water 
temperatures. Similarly in an area of 
rock rubble, moisture is held by sur- 
face tension beneath the rocks and 
consequently animals and plants are 
able to survive at heights above those 
that they could tolerate on open rock 

The Flinders Reef 

The general appearance of the reef 
at Flinders is shown in Figure 4. 

Physical characteristics 

The geology of the area is complex 
(Jutson, 1950). A general account of 
the formation and characteristics of 
coastal platforms is given by Bird 

Air temperatures recorded at Cape 
Schank show a mean monthly range 
from 7.3°C to 21.5°C However, an 
extreme range of 0.5 °C to 40.0 °C has 
been recorded (Bureau of Meteo- 
rology, 1968). 

Sea water temperatures are pre- 
sumed to be similar to those at Port 
Phillip Heads (King, 1970). King 
found an annual range of 8°C with a 
maximum of 20°C in January and a 
minimum of 12°C in August, thus 
classifying the region as cold- 
temperate mixed-waters (sensu Knox, 

Very little information is available 
on the currents in Bass Strait (King, 
1972), except that they are predomi- 
nantly westerly in the summer and 
possibly easterly in the winter (Vaux 
and Olsen, 1961). 

Figure 3. The large kelps (foreground) whose upper reaches mark the lower limit of 
the mid-littoral zone. 



Figure 4. An overall view of Flinders Reef, looking towards West Head. 

The tides in the area show diurnal 
inequality, i.e. the two low and two 
high tides in a 24-hour cycle are of 
differing heights (Chapman, 1938). 
Pollock (1971) discusses the tides of 
Bass Strait. 

Intertidal Zonation 

The Flinders Reef is predominantly 
a solid rock platform, somewhat modi- 
fied by rock pools and rock boulder 
areas. The overall pattern of zonation 

on solid rock areas is summarised in 
Figure 5, and in rock rubble areas in 
Figure 6 (Synnot, 1974; Wescott, 
1974; Ryland, 1975). 

The following account includes 
only the more conspicuous organisms 
of each zone. Details of algal dis- 
tributions are given by King (1972). 
Molluscan taxonomy follows that of 
MacPherson and Gabriel (1962) and 
crustacean taxonomy that of Camp- 
bell and Griffin (1966). 

Figure 5. 

A summary o[ the 
zonation patterns 
on the main rock 
platform at 
Flinders reef. 


Suprali tt oral 


Infra I i t tor a I 

Fr i in ge 


9 10 11 

12 13 

U 15 


I. Lichinia confinis, 2. Littorina unifasciata, 3. Nerita atramentosa, 4. Lepsiella vinosa, 
5. Bembicium nanum, 6. Chamaesipho columna, 7. Tetraclita purpurescens, 

8. Chthalmus antennatus, 9. Austrocochlea constricta, 10. Cellana tramoserica, 

II. Siphonaria diemenensis, 12. Galeolaria caespitosa, 13. Hormosira banksi, 
14. Patelloida cdticostata, 15. Dicathais orbit a, 16. Subninella undulata. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The Suprulittorul Zone 

This zone is absent at Flinders. 
Usually, for instance at Wilson's 
Promontory, the zone is recognisable 
in rocky areas by belts of the black 
lichen Verrucaria sp. 

The Supralittoral Fringe 

Clusters of the small blue peri- 
winkle Littorina unifasciata (Banded 

Australwink) are very common in the 
higher rock areas. Littorina praeter- 
missa (Checked Australwink), a 
closely related species discernible by 
its zig-zag stripes, can be seen with 
more careful inspection. 

Both species browse on micro- 
scopic algae found on the rock sur- 
faces. The lower reaches of this zone 
are characterised by tufts of the 
black-green lichen, Lichinia confinis. 

The Midlfcttoral Zone 

In exposed sites the upper limit of 
this zone is formed by a belt of the 
barnacle Chthalmus antennatus. On 
very sheltered rock faces this species 
is often replaced by the common rock 
barnacle Tctraciita purpurescens. 
Amongst these species the tiny rock 
barnacle Chamaesipho columna is 
found in scattered rosette-like groups. 


2 3 5 







Figure 6. A summary o\' the zonation 
pattern on rock rubble areas at Flinders 
reef . 

1. Leptograpsodes octodentatus, 

2. Cyclograpsus audouini, 3. Carcinus 
maenas, 4. Brachynotus spinosus, 

5. Patiriella exigua, 6. Cyclograpsus 
granulosus, 1 . Paragrapsus quaaridentatus. 

Figure 7 illustrates a number of these 
species o\ barnacle. Barnacles \'ca\ at 
high tide by opening their "beaks" 
and waving their feather-like appen- 
dages to catch any small planktonie 

Figure 7. 

Two species of 
barnacle which 
occur at Flinders: 
purpurescens, the 
larger species and 
antennatus, the 
smaller. Usually 

these i wo species 

are found in 
d liferent areas. 

May 7 June 




Littorina unifasciata (upper pair), L.praetermissa 

A ustrocochlea constrict a 



Bembicium nanum 


Lepsiella vinosa 


Siphonaria diemenmsis Ncrita atramentosa 

Figure 8. The more common gastropod molluscs of the intertidal zone. 
(Scale line = 1.0 cm.) 
Cellana tramaserica Patclloida alticostata 

The most conspicuous animals in 
the midlittoral zone are the gastropod 
molluscs (Figure 8). Austrocochlea 
constricta (Ribbed Top Shell) and 
Bembicium nanum (Striped Mouth 
Conniwink) are most common and 
occur throughout this zone and in 
rock pools. The striking black nerite 
or crow shell, Nerita atramentosa, 
formerly Melanerita melanotragus, is 
also abundant, with highest densities 
in crevices sheltered from direct wave 
action. These gastropods feed by 
browsing on encrusting algae in the 
midlittoral zone. B. nanum and N. 
atramentosa are a common food 
source for the small predatory gas- 
tropod Lepsiella vinosa (Wine-Mouth 
Lepsiella). Lepsiella occurs through- 
out the midlittoral zone, but in winter 
moves into the lower reaches of the 
supralittoral fringe where it feeds on 
Littorina spp. L. vinosa preys on 
various molluscs and barnacles, eat- 
ing their flesh after boring a hole 
through their external shells. This 
species is a good example of an or- 
ganism whose intertidal distribution 
is controlled by biological factors; in 
this case, the distribution of food 

Scattered amongst these animals in 
the midlittoral areas are a number of 
limpets, the most striking of which is 
the Variegated Limpet Cellana 
tramoserica. Another conspicuous 
limpet-like gastropod is the air breath- 
ing Siphonaria diemenensis (Van Die- 
men's Land Siphon Shell). Both C. 
tramoserica and S. diemenensis move 
slowly over the rock surface grazing 
on encrusting algae. 

The lower sections of the midlit- 
toral zone are covered by either the 
serpulid polychaete worm Galeolaria 
caespitosa or the brown alga Nep- 
tune's Necklace (Hormosira banksi). 
G. caespitosa forms encrusting masses 
of calcareous tubes on vertical rock 
faces which are sheltered from direct 
wave action (Figure 9). The masses 
of tubes provide many microhabitats 
which support a varied community of 
crabs, worms, molluscs and amphi- 

The gently sloping areas are typi- 
cally covered by H. banksi and mats 
of coralline algae, e.g. Jania sp. The 
Tall Ribbed Limpet Patelloida alti- 
costata (Figure 8) is found in these 
areas, feeding predominantly on these 

Figure 9. 

A mass of the 
calcareous tubes of 
the polychaete 
worm Galeolaria 

May 7 June 


The [nfralittoral Fringe 

At Flinders this area is easily 
recognisable by the presenee of 
several speeies of Cystophora, a brown 
alga, and of the green alga Caulerpa 
browni (Figure 10). 

Several animals oeenr among these 
algae, the most eonspieuons being the 
predatory Dog Winkle Dicathais 
ovinia (Phillips and Campbell, 1974). 
The Wavy Turbo Subninclla undulata, 
and the chitons Poneroplax albida and 
P. costata are also common. 

Rock Rubble Arens 

The Flinders shore platform pos- 
sesses extensive areas of rock rubble 
which provide shelter lor many ani- 
mals. These animals are also zoned 
but nol as conspicuously as on open 
rock surfaces. The most abundant 
animals in the rock rubble are three 
species of grapsid crabs (Figure 11) 
which shelter under the boulders dur- 
ing low tide, and Iced at high tide on 
algal fragments. Paragrapsus quadrU 
dentatUS (the notched shore crab) 
occurs in the lower midlittoral area 
immediately below Cyclograpsus 
granulosus (the purple mottled shore 
crab). These two crabs can lie dis- 
tinguished by the presence of a notch 
on the carapace o\' r. quadridentatus 

(Campbell and (iriflin, 1966). 

In isolated areas higher up in the 
intertidal /one the closely related 
species C. audouini occurs in 
moderate numbers. It can be distin- 
guished from C. granulosus by the 
presence of hairy tufts at the base of 
its walking legs. 

Other grapsid crabs which occur in 
the rubble arc Brachynotus spinosus, 
a small crab with many notches in the 
carapace, found in or near rock pools 
throughout the midlittoral; and Lep- 
tograpsodes octodentatus, which has a 
ridged carapace and is found in small 
numbers in the supralittoral fringe. 
Carcinus macnas, an introduced 
species (Fulton and Grant, 1901) of 
the family Portunidae (swimming 
crabs), also occurs in the upper mid- 
littoral area. This is one of few crabs 
which has been observed to eat small 

Also occurring throughout the mid- 
littoral is the small green sea star 
Patiriella exigua (Ryland, 1975). 
Nerita atramentosa, A ustrocochlca 
constricta and Lepsiella vinosa also 
occur in the rock rubble. 


Morton and Miller (1973) state 
that rocky shores which are neither 

Figure 10. 

An overall view of 

the infralittoral 

fringe at Flinders 

dominated by 

( 'aulerpa spp. and 




Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

fully exposed nor very sheltered are 
the best areas in which to begin the 
study of littoral plants and animals. 
Although on these shores clear cut 
zones may not be immediately visible 
they become evident on closer in- 

The dissected nature of the Flinders 
reef is an excellent example of the 
type of shore to which Morton and 
Miller refer. The zonation at Flinders 
differs in a number of ways from the 
previously described patterns seen on 
exposed Victorian coastlines (e.g. 

'Wk #r~ 

Figure 1 1 . 

The three most 
common secies of 
crabs found in the 
rock-rubble at 
Flinders. From top 
to bottom : 
audouini and 
C. granulosus. (Scale 
line = 1.0 cm.) 



Bennett and Pope, 1953). The differ- 
ences are: 1) the principal zones are 
narrower; 2) an extensive band of 
laminarian kelps is lacking; and 3) 
there is a marked increase in densities 
of certain animals. This third point 
is particularly evident in the rock 
rubble where the densities of crabs 
and asteroids are very much higher 
than on exposed shores. This decrease 
in exposure also contributes to the 
higher densities of the predatory 
snail Lepsiella vinosa in the mid- 
littoral zone. Hence this animal may 
exert a greater influence on the lower 
limits of some mollusc species at 
Flinders than it does on more ex- 
posed shores. 

This description of the ecology of 
the Flinders reef provides an intro- 
duction to the physical and biological 
processes which interact on rocky 
shores, and gives some idea of the 
complexity of the communities pre- 
sent. It should be stressed that if 
these communities are disturbed or 
disrupted, e.g. by the removal or dis- 
placement of organisms from their 
microhabitats, there may be serious 
repercussions on the intertidal eco- 
system as a whole. Common sense, 
careful collecting methods, and the 
removal for identification of as few 
individuals as possible will ensure the 
minimal disturbance to Flinders and 
other reefs which are already being 
extensively used as areas for scientific 
teaching and research as well as for 
recreational pursuits. 


The authors thank J. Barclay and 
P. Venables for preparation of the 
figures and M. Rubio for typing the 
manuscript. B. Pump assisted with the 
photographs. Dr. M. J. Littlejohn, 
Dr. A. A. Martin and Dr. G. F. Wat- 
son read and criticised the manuscript. 

The authors were supported during 
this research by a Melbourne Univer- 

sity and Commonwealth Post-graduate 
Research Award respectively. 

All photographs were taken by the 


Bennett, I. and Pope, E. C. 1953. Intertidal 
Zonation of Exposed Rocky Shores of 
Victoria. Together with a Rearrangement 
of Biogeographical Provinces of Tem- 
perate Australian Shores. Aust. J. mar. 
Freshwat. Res. 4: 105-159. 

Bennett, I. and Pope, E. C. 1960. Intertidal 
Zonation of the Exposed Rocky Shores of 
Tasmania and It's Relationship with the 
rest of Australia. Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. 
Res. 11: 182-221. 

Bird, E. C, F. 1972. Coasts. Australian 
National University Press. Canberra, 246 

Bureau of Meteorology. 1968. Climatic Sur- 
vey Region 10. Port Phillip, Victoria. 
Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne. 

Campbell, B. M. and Griffin, D. J. G. 1966. 
The Australian Sesarminae (Crustacea: 
Brachyura): Genera: Helice, Helograpsus 
Nov., Cyclograpsus and Paragrapsus. 
Mem. of Qld. Museum, 14(5): 127-174. 

Chapman, R. W. 1938. The Tides of Aus- 
tralia. Comm. Aust. Official Year Book 
31: 972-984. 

Connell, J. H. 1970. A predator prey system 
in the marine intertidal region, /. Balanus 
glandula and several predatory species of 
Thais. Ecol. Monographs. 40: 49-79. 

Connell, J. H. 1972. Community interactions 
on marine rocky intertidal shores. Ann. 
Rev. Ecol. Syst. 3: 169-192. 

Dakin, W. J. 1952. Australian Seashores. 
Angus & Robertson. 

Doty, M. S. 1946. Critical Tide Factors that 
are Correlated with the Vertical Distribu- 
tion of Marine Algae and Other Organ- 
isms along the Pacific Coast. Ecology, 27: 

Fulton, S. W. and Grant, F. E. 1901. Some 
little known decapod Crustacea with a 
description of a new species. Proc. Roy. 
Soc. Vic. 14: Art. VI, 55-64. 

Jutson, J. T. 1950. The Shore Platform of 
Flinders, Victoria. Proc. Roy. Soc. 60: 

King, R. J. 1970. Surface sea-water tempera- 
tures at Port Phillip Heads, Victoria. 
Aust. J. mar. Freshwat. Res. 21: 47-50. 

King, R. J. 1972. The Distribution and 
Zonation of Intertidal Organisms of 
Rocky Coasts in South Eastern Australia 
Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Botany School, 
University of Melbourne. 

King, R. J., Black, J. H. and Ducker, S. C. 
1971. Intertidal Ecology of Port Phillip 
Bay with Systematic Lists of Plants and 
Animals. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 32: 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

and Gabriel, C. J. 1962. 
of Victoria. Melbourne 
475 pp. 

Miller, M. C. L973, The 
Ind Edition. 

Knox, Ci. A. 1963. The Biogeography and 

Intertidal Ecology of the Australasian 

Coasts. Oceanog. Mar. Biol. Ann. Rev. I: 

Macpherson, J. H. 

Marine Molluscs 

University Press. 
Morton, J. E. and 

New Zealand Sea Shore. 

Collins: London-Auckland. 
Paine, R. T. 1%6. Food Web Complexity 

and Species diversity. Amer. Nat. 100: 

Phillips, B. F. and Campbell, N. A. 1974. 

Mortality and longevity in the whelk 

Dicathais aegrota. (Gmelin). Aust. J. 

mar. Ireshwat. Res. 25: 25-33. 
Pollock, R. A. 1971. A Note on the Tides 

in Bass Strait. Vict. Nat. 88: 148-1 S2. 
Ryland, J. M. 1975. Aspects of General 

Ecology and Population Biology of the 

Asteroid Patiriella exigua (Asteroidea, 

Asterinidae). Unpublished B.Sc. (Hons.) 

Thesis, Dept. o\' /oology, University To 

Smith, B. J., Coleman, N. and Watson, .1. E. 

L975. The Invertebrate Fauna of Western- 
port Bay. Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 87: 

Stephenson, T. A. and Stephenson, A. 1949, 
The Universal Features oi" Zonation Be- 
tween Tidemarks on Rocky Shores. J. 
Ecol. 37: 289-305, 

Stephenson, T. A. and Stephenson, A. 1972. 
Life Between Tidemarks on Rocky Shores. 

W. H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco. 

Synnot, R.N. 1974. Aspects of Competition, 
Predation ami Community Structure of 
the genus Lepsiella (Iredale, 1912) 
(Prosabranchia: Thaidae). Unpublished 
B.Sc. (Hons.) Thesis, Department of 
/oology. University of Melbourne. 

Vaux, I), and Olsen, A. M. 1961. Use of 
drift bottles in fisheries research. Aus- 
tralian Fisheries Newsletter 20(1): 17-20. 

WeSCOtt, C. C. 1974. A Preliminary In- 
vestigation into the 1 actors Limiting the 
Geographic and Vertical Distributions of 
Three Closely Related Species oi' Crapsid 

Crab (Crustacea: Brachyura). Unpub- 
lished B.Sc. (lions.) Thesis. Department 

of Zoology, University of Melbourne. 

Sea Urchin Spines 
Cutting thin sections for microscope slides 

by H. H. Bishop, Microscopy Group, FNCV 

Sea Urchin spines, although unin- 
teresting outwardly, are objects of 
beauty when eut into thin sections, 
mounted on a microscope slide, and 
observed under a low power micro- 
scope with dark ground illumination. 
The mieroseope reveals the radiating 
pattern of astonishingly brilliant and 
varied colours that are wholly natural. 

Slides prepared by FNCV members 
have created a lot of interest when 
exhibited at nature shows, and as en- 
quiries have been received regarding 
the method for making these slides, 
this article gives details of the method 
used by the writer which has proved 
very satisfactory, and a description of 
the equipment required. 

I (|iiipmcnt required 

vSea Urchin spines, shellac, cello- 
solve (otherwise ethylene glycol mono- 
ethyl ether, and obtainable from sup- 
pliers of scientific equipment), metal 
mould for shaping shellac sticks, tim- 
ber mould for holding spines when 
setting in shellac, mitre box, Eclipse 
junior saw J 14, silicone carbide paper 
grades 180, 400 and 600, glass slips 
3" x l 1 /-" x V\\ 3" x \" microscope 
slides, cover glasses, line camel-hair 
brushes, Canada balsam, zylol, and 
ringing cement (clear nail poish is 

A low power microscope (prefer- 
ably a stereo microscope) or a large 
magnifying glass on a stand is re- 



quired for selecting and mounting the 
spine sections on the slide. 

After collecting the spines, they 
must be washed in several changes of 
fresh water to remove all trace of 
salt and small particles of sand. 

The method 

(a) Preparation of equipment 

1. Make a metal mould from any 
light metal about 4" long, formed 
into a channel section %" wide by Vi 

2. Melt sufficient shellac in the 
metal mould to make into sticks. This 
is done by filling the mould with 
shellac flakes, placing the mould on a 
sheet of metal, and heating on a stove 
until the shellac flakes melt. When 
completely melted, remove from the 
stove and allow to cool. (Do not use 
excessive heat.) When cooled, remove 
the stick from the mould. 

3. Make the timber mould from 
3-ply — an oblong box open at the 
top and at both ends, about 4" long, 
1 " wide and sides %" high. Glue the 
pieces together (do not use wire brads 
or panel pins). This mould is for 
holding the spines while setting in 

4. Having made the mould, you 
now require a mitre box to hold the 
mould while cutting into sections. 
This can be made from scrap timber 
and must have the following: — 

(1) guides to hold the mould neatly, 

(2) guides to hold the small saw, and 

(3) a stop to control the width of sec- 
tions; see sketch. It is important that 
there is no side play of the saw blade 
when cutting sections. 

5. Make a thick cement (about the 
consistency of syrup) with some of the 
shellac dissolved in cellosolve. This is 
the shellac cement. 

(b) Sectioning procedure 

Having prepared all the equipment, 
you are now ready to start the sec- 
tioning procedure which is as follows. 

Mitre box about 6" long by 3" wide. 
1. 3-ply guides. 2. Metal guides for saw 
3. 3-ply stop. 

6. Melt the shellac stick on to one 
end of the timber mould, covering the 
full width of the mould, and long 
enough to take the longest spine you 
are going to mount. 

To melt the shellac stick, the writer 
uses an electric soldering iron with a 
copper element %" diameter. The end 
of the element is filed flat, and this 
surface is used to melt and spread 
the shellac. 

Having melted the shellac to about 
W thick, press down flat with a knife 
or piece of metal. 

7. When the shellac has cooled and 
hardened, spread a thin layer of 
shellac cement on the surface. You 
now place the spines on the cement. 
It is advisable to reverse each alternate 
spine, i.e. the tip to the right, then 
next one with tip to the left, leaving 
a space between each spine. 

8. Having filled the space with a 
layer of spines, melt more of the 
shellac stick on top of the spines to 
about Vs" thick. Make sure the shellac 
is thoroughly melted, and that the first 
layer of shellac and second layer are 
fused together. Press the layers firmly 
together with a knife. 

9. Repeat this procedure until you 
have used all the spines or as many 
as you wish to mount. The final layer 
of shellac needs to be about W thick. 
Allow the whole mass to cool 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

thoroughly, when it will be ready for 
cutting into sections. 

If you have been careful with this 
procedure, the ends oi' all spines will 
be level with the end of the mould. 
Every part of the spines must be 
covered with shellac, otherwise they 
will crumble when cutting. 

10. Place the mould in the mitre 
box up to the pre-set stop, and cut 
into sections with the small saw, 
cutting through the mould also. With 
care and practise, it is possible to cut 
sections 0.6 mm thick. Having cut all 
the sections, remove the pieces of 
3-ply mould from the sections with a 
razor blade, being careful not to break 
the sections. 

11. Using the 400 grade silicone 
carbide paper, rub down one side of 
the sections to remove any saw marks 
and to obtain a smooth surface. 

12. Cement the smoothed side of 
the sections to a glass slip, using some 
of the shellac cement thinned down 
with cellosolve. Allow the cement to 
dry thoroughly. 

13. When dry, the sections are ready 
to grind down to the desired thickness 
which, in the writer's experience, is 
0.2 mm. Commencing with the 180 
grade paper, grind down to approxi- 
mately 0.4 mm thick; then with 400 
grade, and finish with 600 grade. 
When grinding down the sections, 
place the silicone paper on a piece of 
flat board or plate glass so as to grind 
down evenly. 

It is important to continually check 
the thickness of sections when grinding 
down: use a vernier gauge and inspect 
under the microscope. When doing 
this, moisten the spines with water 
(saliva serves well!) as moist material 
looks clearer when viewed under the 
microscope. If ground too thin, sec- 
tions lose their colour and have a 
tendency to break. 

14. Having ground down to the 
desired thickness, place the glass slip 
in a shallow container and cover the 
sections with cellosolve. When the 
shellac has dissolved, the spine sec- 
tions can be floated off or lilted oil' 
with a tine brush. 

The spine sections are then washed 
in cellosolve to remove any trace of 
shellac or particles of dirt. They are 
now ready for mounting on the micro- 
scope slide. 

(c) Mounting the spine sections 

15. The method of mounting the 
spine sections is to pick up each sec- 
tion with a line brush and place them 
on one end of the microscope slide 
in the position that you intend to 
finally mount them. 

16. Canada balsam is spread thin- 
ly on the centre oi' the slide, and the 
spines lifted from their temporary 
position and placed on the Canada 
balsam in their final position. If the 
Canada balsam dries out, dip a brush 
in the zylol and allow a small drop to 
run on the balsam. 

17. When all the sections are in 
position, cover with balsam and place 
the cover glass in position. (Should air- 
bubbles occur when mounting the sec- 
tions, a drop oi' zylol on the bubble 
usually eliminates the problem.) 

18. When the Canada balsam has 
set firmly, the cover glass is scaled 
with the ringing cement. 

The collection oi' Sea Urchin spines 
and the making oi' microscope slides 
is an interesting and satisfying hobby 
With the variety oi' colours and shapes 
oi' spines from the different species, 
numerous slides with different pat- 
terns can be made. 

Information dealing with the colour 
and shape oi' spines from the different 
species will be presented in a future 



Rabbits on Gippsland Islands 

by J. W. Edmonds, I. F. Nolan, Rosamond C. H. Shepherd, 
J. R. Backholer and R. Jackson.* 

It has been generally accepted that 
the wild rabbit populations in main- 
land Australia originated mainly from 
the famous "Barwon Park" rabbits 
which arrived on the barque Lightning 
in 1859, and that the rabbits on Vic- 
toria's offshore islands originated 
from releases by sealers and sailors in 
attempts to provide food. 

It is regrettable that the details of 
the colonisation of south eastern Aus- 
tralia by the wild rabbit may never be 
well documented. However it is still 
possible to find and sift information 
on the origins and evolution of the 
rabbit populations on the Gippsland 
offshore islands. This paper reports 
information collected by officers of 
the Vermin and Noxious Weeds De- 
struction Board during the course of 
other work. We hope that it will 
stimulate interest in the history of our 
less well known rabbit populations. 

Islands in Westernport (Fig. 1) 

French Island 

The rabbit population on French 
Island appears to be typically wild. We 

have no information on its origins 
but our limited collections have not 
included any domestic characteristics. 
Phillip Island 

The population on Phillip Island is 
generally of the wild type but we have 
found some domestic characteristics 
in rabbits on Phillip Island near to 
Churchill Island. Again we have no 
information on the origins of the 
Phillip Island population. 
Churchill Island 

The Churchill Island population was 
probably originally of wild type rab- 
bits. However, following devastating 
epizootics of myxomatosis during the 
early 1950's an attempt was made to 
restock the island with domestic type 
rabbits. Six were released; two black 
which are thought to have come from 
Phillip Island, two albino and two 
cinnamon of unknown origin (Stott, 
personal communication) . 

Wild type rabbits may have been 
present when the domestic type rab- 
bits were introduced. The present oc- 
currence of the agouti gene suggests 
that they were, but the absence of one 
immunoglobulin structural gene which 
is present in every other rabbit popu- 
lation sampled in Victoria (35 in all) 
suggests that they were not (Edmonds 
and Shepherd unpublished data). 

The coat colours now present are: 
agouti 60%; black 25%; cinnamon 
15%. One albino was sighted in 
December, 1974 but no albino has 
been collected in a total collection of 

* Keith Turnbull Research Institute, 

Vermin & Noxious Weeds Destruction Board. 

Frankston, Victoria 3199. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

about 300. Details of the genetic con- 
stitution and evolution of coat colour 
in this population will be presented 
Elizabeth Island 

We have no information on the 
origins of rabbit populations on, nor 
have we collected from, Elizabeth 
Island where there has been a rabbit 
population for many years. 

South Gippsland offshore islands 
(Fig. 2) 

Doughboy Island 

A small population (estimated at 
about 20) of small black rabbits was 
present at least fifty years ago. The 
local belief is that there have been 
rabbits on the island for a much 
longer period and that they were re- 
leased as a source of food for ship- 
wrecked sailors. This population ap- 
parently was severely restricted by 
poor nutrition and may now be 
Sunday Island 

It is believed that rabbits have 
been on the island for more than 100 
years. We know that the population 
was multi-coloured at least sixty years 
ago and remained so until the popula- 
tion was decimated by myxomatosis. 

Figure 2. 

Since about 1953 most of the popula- 
tion have been agouti in colour. How- 
ever they have maintained their size 
and are generally bigger and heavier 
than mainland rabbits. Rabbits from 
Sunday Island were released on the 
mainland near Port Albert 70-80 years 
ago (Palmer, personal communica- 
St. Margaret's Island 

There were large numbers of rab- 
bits on the island shortly after the first 
World War (Mitchell, personal com- 
munication). They included some 
blacks and some described as 'pinkish 1 , 
and were bigger than mainland rab- 
bits. We have not collected from this 
island but it seems very likely that 
domestic type rabbits were among the 
founding population. Rabbits can 
cross between the mainland and the 
island at low tide so there has prob- 
ably been an interchange between 
island and mainland populations. 

Bass Strait islands 

Some of the releases on Bass Strait 
islands are well documented. The in- 
formation presented here is sum- 
marised from other publications and 
included to give as complete a record 
as we can. 

The first documented releases were 
made by Commander Stokes in 
II. M.S. Beagle in June 1X42 (Stead 
1935, Rolls 1969). Stokes released 
about 12 rabbits on Deal Island "for 
the benefit of any unfortunate 
voyagers who might be thrown hungry 
ashore". He later named Rabbit 
Island (Fig. 2) from the abundance 
of rabbits which he understood had 
originated from a pair of rabbits re- 
leased by "a praiseworthy sailor" in 
about 1836. 

Matthams (1921) says that the 
rabbits on Rabbit Island were numer- 
ous in the early forties. The rabbits 
were harvested to supply food to the 
aborigines on Flinders Island, and by 



whalers. Matthams describes Rabbit 
Island as "near Queenscliff". This is 
presumably a geographical error. 
Although there may have been rabbits 
on islands in Port Phillip during the 
1840's we have no evidence that they 
were harvested. 

The present population is very low 
and we have no reports of recent rab- 
bit sightings. The population was 
estimated at 300-400 in about 1935 
and described as long-eared, blackish- 
blue and larger than mainland rabbits. 
There were a few grey rabbits, also 
long-eared and larger than mainland 

The severe damage caused to the 
flora and fauna on Rabbit Island and 
the effects of sharply reduced numbers 
of rabbits after myxomatosis and a 
control programme have been de- 
scribed by Norman (1967, 1970). 

Rabbit populations on other Bass 
Strait islands have also severely modi- 
fied the flora and fauna of the islands 
e.g. on Citadel Island (Gillham 1961, 
Norman 1967). Probably these islands 

were the unfortunate sites of releases 
during the 1830's and 1840's. 


We wish to thank Mr. K. Stott, 
Beaumaris, for his help on the origins 
of the Churchill Island rabbits and 
Messrs. J. Sparkes, Foster, and D. 
Mitchell, Yarram, both formerly of 
the Department of Crown Lands and 
Survey and Mr. D. L. Palmer, De- 
partment of Crown Lands and Survey, 
Yarram, for their help and interest in 
the origins of Gippsland rabbits. 


Gillham, M. E., 1961. Plants and seabirds 
of granite islands in south-east Victoria. 
Proc. Roy. Soc. Vict. 74, 21-35. 

Matthams, J., 1921. The rabbit pest in Aus- 
tralia. Specialty Press, Melbourne. 

Norman, F. I., 1967. The interactions of 
plants and animals on Rabbit Island, Wil- 
son's Promontory, Victoria. Proc. Roy. 
Soc. Vict. 80, Part 2, 193-200. 

Norman, F. I., 1970. Ecological effects of 
rabbit reduction on Rabbit Island, Wil- 
son's Promontory, Victoria. Proc. Roy. 
Soc. Vict. 83, Part 2, 235-252. 

Rolls, E. C, 1969. They all ran wild. Angus 
and Robertson, Sydney. 

Stead, D. G., 1935. The rabbit in Australia. 
Winn, Sydney. 

Notice to Authors concerning first proofs 

If authors wish to see galley proofs, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope 
with your material and proofs will be sent to you as a matter of routine. But time is 
critical, and the editor should receive checked and OK'd proofs by return mail or 
such material could be delayed to a later issue. 


The Wild Flowers of the Wilson's Promontory National Park by J. Ros Garnet. 

Price $5.25, discount to members; postage 60c. 

Ferns of Victoria and Tasmania by N. A. Wakefield, revised by Dr. J. H. Willis. 

Price $3.25, discount to members; postage 60c. 

Send order to FNCV Sales Officer: 

MrD. E. Mclnnes, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135; telephone 211 2427. 


In the headline to the article by Margaret G. Corrick on page 67 of the April issue 
(Vic Nat 93:2) the specific name should read "Leersia oryzoides (L.) Swartz". 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Vegetation in the south-eastern suburbs, Melbourne 

2. Native and introduced plant communities in a Mount Waverley reserve 
by P. B. Bridgewater* and B. Wellington.! 

Editor's Note. In his letter accompanying this article, Dr. Bridgewater reported that 
his article on Clayton South aroused some local interest and eventual pressure on the 
Oakleigh Council to purchase the area for a reserve. "Vegetation of SE Suburbs, 
No. 1, Clayton South" was published in this journal May 1975. 


Much of the native vegetation in 
the Waverley area has been cleared 
for urban settlement and industry. 
Damper Creek reserve (grid reference 
on Melbourne 1:250,000 map, 
316330) is one such area, which has 
a mixture of native and introduced 
plant communities. A floristic analysis 
shows the native vegetation to be 
variously affected by introduced 
species. Two native plant communi- 
ties and one introduced community 
were identified in the reserve, and are 
described below. 

Vegetation description. 

Full details of the plant communi- 
ties are contained in Tables 1-3. 
Species which characterise the asso- 
ciations are enclosed in the 'boxes' 
of these tables. Values in the table are 
quoted in Bridgewater (1971). Both 
native plant communities are linked 
by the presence of Bursaria spinosa 
(Sweet Bursaria), Microlaena stipoides 
(Weeping Grass) and the introduced 
Agrostis stolonifera (Creeping Bent). 
Association 1 is characterised by 
Lomandra filiformis (Wattle Mat- 
rush), Poa australis (Tussock Grass) 
and the introduced species Briza 
minor (Shivery Grass) and Hypo- 
choeris radicata (Cat's-ear) . Although 
both these species are introduced they 
are very widespread and now form 
part of many plant communities 
throughout the State. 

Within this association is a major 
sub-group, recognised by many native 
species, e.g. Leptospermum juniperi- 
num (Prickly Tea-tree), Platylobium 
obtusangulum (Common Flat-pea), 
Gahnia radula (Thatch Saw-sedge), 
Haloragis tetragyna (Raspwort), the 
mosses Campylopus introflexus, 
Thuidium furfurosum, and the liver- 
wort Lophocolea semiteres. More 
open sites within this sub-group are 
characterised by Themeda australis 
(Kangaroo Grass). The tree cover is 
provided by Eucalyptus obliqua (Mess- 
mate) and E. cephalocarpa (Silver- 
leaf Stringybark) and, occasionally E. 
ovata (Swamp Gum) in the wetter 

Introduced species characteristic of 
maximum disturbance to the vegeta- 
tion include Holcus lanatus (York- 
shire Fog), Rubus ulmifolius (Black- 
berry), Galium aparine (Cleavers) 
and Pteridium esculentum (Bracken). 
This last species is native to the area, 
but its numbers markedly increase on 
disturbance. These species occur 
sporadically throughout the samples 
that make up this sub-group, usually 
with a concomitant reduction in the 
number of native species for those 

A second sub-group may be dis- 
tinguished by a lack of the native 

School of Environmental and Life Sciences 

Murdoch University, W.A. 
f Botany Department, Monash University 



species mentioned above, and the 
presence of Theme da aus trails. Sites 
that make up this sub-group are also 
often disturbed, but more usually by 
invasion of JJlex europaeus (Gorse) 
than the Holcus-Rubus group de- 
scribed above. Tree cover in the sub- 
group is sparse, and the native lily 
Trlcoryne elatlor (Yellow Rush-lily) 
is often abundant. 

Association 2 is characterised by a 
native species — Lomandra longlfolla 
(Spiny-headed Mat-rush), and an in- 
troduced South African species — 
Ehrharta erecta (Panic Veldt Grass). 
Tree cover is chiefly Eucalyptus ovata. 
Sites forming this association are 
usually associated with steep banks 
near the creek. In two of the sites 
the shrubs Melaleuca erici folia 
(Swamp Paper-bark) and Acacia 
melanoxylon (Blackwood) are pre- 
sent. Before the clearing and disturb- 
ance to the creek bed, carried out in 
recent years by the MMBW, the 
vegetation of the creek sides would 
have been dominated by these two 
shrubs. All sites associated with this 
association have been disturbed, as 
evidenced by the constant presence of 
the Holcus-Rubus species group. 

Some parts of the reserve are 
almost devoid of native species, and 
their vegetation consists of an asso- 
ciation characterised by Bromus 
unioloides (Prairie Grass), Plantago 
lanceolata (Ribwort) and Rumex 
crispus (Curled Dock), together with 
Holcus-Rubus species group. 


Although considerable invasion by 
weed species has occurred in this area 
the original vegetation pattern is still 
apparent. Association 1 represents the 
typical dry sclerophyll forest with 
"heathy shrub" understorey, formerly 
very common on the Silurian mud- 
stones and sandstones in the central 
and north-east of greater Melbourne. 




i— i 





t— 1 



























+ i-H 

m + »h 

CO -H -f 

CM + 

-|- - CM 

—i CNI CO 

CM + + 

-« + + + 

cm + + + 

CM + CM + 

m + 

+ -I 

CM + 

+ + CM 



CM + + 












• • 














































































































Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 





















r— 1 





m + 



!— 1 


i— i 







-• + 








** + 








-< + 















































































































































i— l 




























































































- 1 










*"" : 





+ ~l 

+ + 



CO + 



























































r o 








































































z t 





















e* 4 

































































































. x 





































































































May 7 June 




1 44 2 28 31 30 32 14 16 47 27 11 

Table 2 — 
Major species 
of Association 2. 

Melaleuca erici folia 
Aaaaia melanoxylon 
Fumai'ia officinalis* 
Lomandra longi folia 
Zktharta eve eta* 
Agrostis stolonifera* 
'Aicrolaena stipoides 
Bursaria spinosa 
Ho leus lanatus * 
Rubus ulmifolius* 
Galium aparine* 
Pteridium esculentum 
Adiantum aethiopicum 
Eucalyptus ovata 
Briza minor* 
Hypochoeris radicata* 
Poa australis 
Gdhnia radula 
Lophocolea semiteres 
■Themeda australis 
Anthoxanthum odoratum* 
Lepidosperma 'laterale 
Leptospermum juniperinum 
Bromus unioloides* 
Plantago lanceolata* 























• 3 


+ 2 
















2 + 










+ 4 










2 + 






















4 3 








Such forests were dominated by Euca- 
lyptus obliqua, E. cephalocarpa, E. 
goniocalyx (Long-leaf Box), E. mac- 
rorhyncha (Red Stringybark) . In- 
creasing invasion of non-native species 
often results in an understorey with 
fewer shrubs and a greater number of 
grass species (e.g. sub-group b of 
Association 1). The moister slopes 
and creek bed were characterised by 
a woodland with Eucalyptus ovata and 
E. viminalis (Manna Gum) as the 
dominant tree species. Such wood- 
lands were often quite poor species. 

Across this pattern of vegetation, 
the introduced species group Holcus 
lanatus, Rubus ulmifolius and Galium 

aparine together with the native 
Pteridium esculentum have become 
established in partially cleared or dis- 
turbed areas. If one examines the 
distribution of those introduced 
species in their native countries (W. 
Europe) the following emerges: 
Rubus and Holcus (together with 
Agrostis stolonifera) are all charac- 
teristic of a vegetation type described 
as Prunitalia spinosae (Westhoff and 
den Held 1969). This vegetation is 
found in situations such as hedgerows, 
borders between woodland and pas- 
ture and other areas of transition be- 
tween vegetation types. Ulex euro- 
paeus is characteristic of the vegeta- 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 



48 49 50 42 34 15 46 40 

Bromus unioloides* 








Plantago lanceolata* 




+ + 

Rumex crispus* 




+ + 

Holous lanatus* 







Rubus ulmifolius* 








Galium aparine* 






1 2 

Pteridium esculentum 





Table 3 — 

Burs aria spinosa 
Agrostis stolonifera* 




Major species 
ot Association 3 

Microlaena stipoides 


Zhrharta ere at a* 



Eucalyptus ovata 




Fumaria officinalis* 



Briza minor* 



Hypochoeris radicata* 




Poa australis 






Gahnia radula 




Lophocolea semi teres 



Campy lopus introflexus 



Lomandra filiformis 


Anthoxanthum odoratum* 


Themeda australis 


Eucalyptus cephalocarpa 


Agropyron repens * 



Oxalis pes-caprae* 




tion type Sarothamnion, which is 
found in similar situations, but usually 
on more nutrient-poor soils. 

All of these situations are subject 
to disturbance from time to time 
(clearing, cutting, trampling, etc.) 
and so it is not suprising to find these 
species occurring in disturbed areas of 
native vegetation. What is interesting 
is the fact that there appears to be a 
coexistence between fragments of 
native plant communities and intro- 
duced plant communities. Under- 
standing this coexistence and balance 
is clearly of importance in devising 
management strategies for such areas 
so that the maximum quality and 

quantity of native vegetation is main- 
tained. Understanding the role of in- 
troduced species in native plant com- 
munities is likely to be of increasing 
importance in this area, perhaps par- 
ticularly in studies of the Dandenong 
Valley Park proposed by the MMBW 
and outlined by Jones (1975). 


Bridgewater, P. B. (1971). Practical appli- 
cation of the Zurich-Montpellier system 
of Phytosociology. Proc. Roy. Soc. Vict. 
84, 255-262. 

Jones, E. (1975). Plant survey of proposed 
Dandenong Valley Park. Vict. Nat. 92, 

Westhoff, V. and den Held, A. J. (1969). 
Plant Communities in the Netherlands. 
Zutphen. (Text in Dutch.) 



The Origin of Generic Names of the Victorian Flora 
Part 2 -Latin, Greek and Miscellaneous 

(Continued from page 68 In the last issue) 
by James A. Baines 

Microseris. Gk mikros, small; chicory 
(Black), lettuce or endive (Jaeger) 
were plants called seris in Greek. M. 
scapigera, Yam, or Yam-daisy as 
given by Willis, is the tuberous-rooted 
composite that provided the staple 
food of Australian Aborigines, ob- 
tained by the women with their yam- 
sticks. The true yams are members of 
the tropical genus Dioscorea, with 
600 species, of the monocotyledonous 
family Dioscoreaceae, only three of 
which are Australian and none Vic- 
torian. The epithet scapigera means 
bearing a stalk or scape. 

Microsorium. Gk mikros, small; soros, 
a heap, mound (hence Lat sorus, a 
sporecase); the sori being small indi- 
vidually but prominent collectively. 
Our two species are M. diver si folium, 
Kangaroo Fern (so-named from the 
shape of some of the fronds) and M. 
scandens, Fragrant Fern or Scented 
Polypody, the latter name coming 
from Polypodium (= many-footed), 
the genus to which these ferns for- 
merly belonged, in family Polypo- 

Microtis. Gk mikros, small; ous, otos, 
car; from the general appearance of 
each individual in the flowering spike 
of these onion orchids. Three of our 
eight species are alternatively known 
as leek orchids, a name better kept 
for species of Prasophyllum. 

Mimosa. Gk mimos, mimic; referring 
to the sensitive collapse, when touched, 
of the leaves of M. pudica, Sensitive 
Plant. * Albizia lophantha, Cape or 
Crested Wattle, was formerly M. dis- 
tachya, and Acacia botrycephala was 
classified in Mimosa from 1800-1829. 

Europeans persist in calling cultivated 
pinnate species of our acacias mimosa, 
ignoring the word wattle that is uni- 
versal throughout Australia. No 
Mimosa species are native to Aus- 
tralia, but one species has become 
naturalized in Queensland. The com- 
mon name Prickly Moses used in Vic- 
toria for Acacia verticillata and in 
W.A. for A. pulchella, is a corruption 
of Prickly Mimosa. 

Mimulus. Lat diminutive of mimus, a 
mimic; because the corolla looks like 
the face of a monkey, hence the com- 
mon name monkey-flowers for these 
plants. Victoria has two introduced 
species, *M. moschatus, Musk 
Monkey-flower or Monkey Musk, and 
*M. luteus, as well as three native 
species. They belong to family 
Scrophulariaceae. (M. repens, also in 
N.Z., is called Maori Musk in that 
country, and Creeping Monkey-flower 

Minuria. Gk minyros, in the sense of 
small, thin (though its primary mean- 
ing is whining, complaining); probably 
alluding to the leaves of M. lepto- 
phylla, Minnie Daisy, which is one 
of our five species, all native. They 
belong to the Astereae tribe of family 

*Mirabilis. Lat word for wonderful, 
hence the common name Marvel of 
Peru for *M. jalapa, which becomes 
like a weed in some gardens and 
occasionally escapes — also known 
as Four-o'clock, or False Jalap, the 
purgative jalap coming not from this 
plant but from convolvulaceous plants 
growing originally at Jalapa in Mexico. 
(Jalapa is from Aztec, meaning sand 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

by the water.) Mirabilis genus is in 
family Nyctaginaceae. 

Mitrasacme. Gk mitra, head-dress, 
used in the sense of an ecclesiastical 
mitre; akme, summit (hence English 
acme); because of resemblance of the 
corolla M. pilosa to a bishop's mitre, 
hence its common name, Hairy Mitre- 
wort. Victoria has six species, all 
native, and all known as different 
kinds of mitreworts. The genus is in 
family Loganiaceae. 
Mniarum. Gk mniaros, mossy, soft as 
moss. Scleranthus mniaroides was 
Mueller's amended name for a caryo- 
phyllaceous plant he had described 
seven years before as M. singuliflorum, 
but the correct combination of S. 
singuliflorus was adopted in 1938. All 
species previously in Mniarum are 
now in Scleranthus. Knawel is the 
common name. 

*Modiola. Lat modiolus, the nave of 
a wheel; alluding to the shape of the 
fruit. This is a monotypic American 
genus of family Malvaceae. *M. caro- 
liniana, Carolina Mallow, is also 

known as Wheel or Creeping Mallow. 

Mollugo. Lat name of a plant be- 
lieved to be Galium mollugo (from 
mollis, soft). Our two species of 
Glinus were once classified in Mol- 
lugo, G. lotoides being first M. hirta 
then M. glinus. Hutchinson separated 
Molluginaceae from Aizoaceae, nam- 
ing it from the genus Mollugo. 

*Moluccella. Molucca Islands or the 
Moluccas (formerly known as the 
Spice Islands, now part of Indonesia), 
with diminutive -ella added. *M. 
laevis, Molucca Balm, is also known 
as Bells of Ireland, though not native 
to either region, as J. C. Willis gives 
the habitats of the four species as 
ranging from the Mediterranean to 
N.W. India. The genus was named by 
L. in 1753, when knowledge of the 
source of 'spices' was rather vague. 
(Cf. the word turkey, this American 
bird being thought by the English to 
have come from Turkey, and by the 
French from India (d'Inde), hence 
their word dinde for turkey.) 
(To be continued) 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

The Botany Group, FNCV 

Editor's Note. This is the first in a series on the FNCV Study Groups. In each of the 
next five issues there will be an account from one Group so that Club members can 
be aware of the purpose and activities of the various Groups. All FNCV members 
are welcome at any of the Groups and, as meetings and excursions are more informal 
than the large Club affairs, people get to know each other more quickly. There is no 
extra subscription. Many of our most active and enthusiastic members are also 
members of one or more of the Groups. All meetings, etc., are on page 123. 
Botany is a fascinating and absorbing Excursions 

study. Whether you want to know a few 
of the more common plants found in the 
bush or the type of plants in a particular 
area, to photograph native plants or to 
learn more of the structure and function 
of plants — come to the Botany Group. 
The main interest of the Group is with 
Australian plants living in their natural 
environment. The broad purpose is to 
provide opportunities and encouragement 
to observe, study and enjoy plants. 

The Botany Group meets each month 
and has an excursion each month. An 
excursion might be simply to a particu- 
lar area, or it might be for a particular 
subject such as fungi or ferns or euca- 
lypts. Each is led by a person know- 
ledgeable about the chosen area or sub- 
ject, so the excursions provide excellent 
opportunities to identify and study plants 
in the field. But they are informal affairs 
and individual members take from them 

May 7 June 


what they most enjoy. Occasionally we 
have a week-end trip. On these excur- 
sions we travel by private car, but we 
try to even out the expenses. 

Last year our excursions included a 
project that was new to us. We were 
asked to make a plant survey of part of 
the proposed Dandenong Valley Park. 
The survey was arranged and carried out 
in haste, yet we derived great satisfaction 
from it. It was a severe test of the 
knowledgeable members, but the less 
knowledgeable and the merest beginners 
were a necessary part of the survey teams 
and all learned quite a lot. It was re- 
ported in this journal in October 1975, 
page 216. 

Most areas are too far afield for such 
a project, but it is likely we will make a 
plant survey of the new FNCV property 
at Kinglake. 


At Botany Group meetings there is a 
45-minute address on some aspect of 
Australian plants or on a particular area. 
Like the excursion leaders, the speaker 
might be a member of the Group or an 
outside specialist. These addresses are 
usually illustrated with colour slides and 
are followed by questions to the speaker. 
Our programme this year includes an 
address on a plant family at several of 
the meetings; the other addresses have 
yet to be arranged. 

In addition, at each meeting there is 
a 15-minute talk for beginners. Although 
this Group does not study academic 
botany as such, some basic botanical 
knowledge is necessary if we are to 
understand plants, and these 15-minute 
talks provide some of that necessary 
background; they are usually illustrated 
with easy-to-follow diagrams. These 

short talks were instituted last year and 
proved very popular — and not only 
with beginners! Duplicated take-away 
sheets were often available but they are 
less likely this year as duplication costs 
have sky-rocketed; members will need 
to take notes, and diagrams can be 
copied after the meeting has ended. 

Several members bring plant speci- 
mens to each meeting and these are dis- 
cussed. Often, much can be learned from 
a simple exhibit, so the more the better. 
Books on plants are usually displayed, 
some for borrowing. 

Our meetings end at 10 p.m., but 
many people stay longer — looking at 
exhibits, copying diagrams or just talk- 
ing. We really get to know each other. 


We are a pretty mixed group of 
people. Some of our members are very 
knowledgeable indeed about plants, 
several have a moderate knowledge and 
some are real beginners. Similarly, we 
are mixed regarding age. Mostly our 
members are middle-aged or more, but 
we have some keen young members who 
add liveliness to meetings and are a 
great asset at excursions. There is a 
place in our Group for people at all 
levels and all ages. Any FNCV member 
or other person is welcome — as a regu- 
lar member, or as an occasional visitor to 
hear a particular address or for a par- 
ticular excursion ... or just to find out 
what we are like. 

Botany Group meetings are held on 
the second Thursday of each month at 
the Herbarium, The Domain, South 
Yarra at 8 pm; excursions are on the 
last Saturday. For specific programmes, 
see "Diary of Coming Events" on page 
123 of this journal. 

Volunteers Wanted for Small Jobs 

Typist/Duplicator operator. The minute- 
taker makes hand-written records of pro- 
ceedings at Council and General meetings. 
These need to be typed, duplicated and 
despatched to Council Members before 
the next Council meeting. The Club owns 
a spirit duplicator that takes little space 
and is fairly easy to operate. Usually 
there are three foolscap pages of typing, 
occasionally more, and 15-20 duplicates. 
Total time per month is 1-2 hours and the 
worker is up-to-the-minute on everything 
that is happening in the Club. 


Please see the minute-taker (Madge 
Lester) or the President. 

Library Monitors. At General meetings a 
person is required to be present in the 
library at 7.30 p.m. and after the meeting 
has ended. He/she would show borrowers 
how to fill in a borrowing slip and advise 
when to return the book, file the slips, 
receive returned books and check out the 
slips. If there is more than one Monitor 
they could devise a roster system. 
Please see the Librarian or President. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Subscription Reminder Notice 

FNCV members are asked to check whether they have paid their subscription for 
1976; if not, please forward to the Treasurer. Subscriptions were due on 1 January. 

Reports of FNCV Meetings 

General Meeting 
Monday, 12 April 

Speaker for the evening was 
Miss Mary Doery. Miss Doery gave a 
naturalist's view of a Pioneer coach trip 
from Darwin to Perth that several FNCV 
members had joined. The trip was in 
August last year. They covered 3,800 
miles in 17 days, yet many aspects of 
natural history were observed, enjoyed 
and photographed. It was an absorbing 
address and effectively demonstrated 
that even when travelling by a public 
vehicle the naturalist can find much to 
interest him. 

Water in Wyperfeld. Mr. Ros Garnet 
showed photographs of creeks and 
lagoons that are at present in Wvoerfeld 
National Park. He sacculated on the re- 
vitalisation it would bring to the euca- 
lvpts and other vegetation. Such water 
has not been seen in Wyperfeld since 

Exhibits. There was an extensive dis- 
plav of lignite and coal from various 
Victorian sources. A piece of wood (or 
was it lignite?) obtained at Yallourn was 
formed from the Queensland Kauri Pine 
Agathis robusta 30 million years ago. 
Also from Yallourn was another piece 
of wood still with its bark — Callitris 
cupressinoxylon. A lump of brown coal 
was thought to be fossil pollen. 

In a small bottle were some Indian 
Meal Moths Plodia inter punctella. The 
moths were about 1 cm long, grey with 
a white band on each wing. It is an 
introduced pest as the larvae attack 
stored food. Also in the bottle was 
another moth the same size but white 
with black bars — Philobota content ell a. 
The genus Philobota is Australian and 
has about 300 species but, Tillyard says, 
"in no case has the larva been dis- 
covered". Under a microscope was a 
wasp that is parasitic on the egg mass of 
the praying mantis. 

A species of Dodder bearing many of 
its small flowers and fruits was firmly 
entwined on a sprig of Basil. Leaves 

(phyllodes) of Acacia dunnii from 
Wyndham W.A. were about 12" long by 
8" wide. A sedge, found growing abun- 
dantly in a drain, carried the query 
"what is it?". It was the introduced Drain 
Sedge or Umbrella Sedge Cyperus era- 
grostis and is a considerable pest. 

Subscriptions. The Treasurer asked 
members to be prompt with their sub- 
scriptions. Many have not yet been paid, 
but they were due at the beginning of 
the year. In 1975, more than $50 was 
spent in reminder notices! 

Annual General Meeting 
Monday, 10 May 1976 

Annual Report for 1975* was read by 
the Vice-President, and here are the main 

Membership has increased slightly. 

All Study Groups have continued 
actively, and the Mammal Survey Group 
has made some significant range exten- 
sions. But the Preston Junior Field 
Naturalists Club has gone into recess. 

A full programme of Sunday bus trips 
was continued, with a longer trip to the 
Grampians in October and to the Orbost 
area over the Christmas period. In May, 
the Sunday outing was replaced by a 
working bee at Studley Park to help 
eradicate boneseed. The organiser, 
Mr Ian Cameron, estimated that several 
thousand plants had been removed. 

Eleven issues of 'The Victorian 
Naturalist' were published, and life mem- 
bership was conferred on Mr Grif Ward 
for his service as editor during ten years. 
Publication of 'Ferns of Victoria and 
Tasmania' by the late Norman Wakefield 
and revised by Dr J Willis, has been 
very successful. 

Amendments to the Constitution were 
adopted; the result is a smaller Council, 
and certain office-bearers may be Coun- 
cil members or not as they wish. For 
familv reasons, our new Secretary, 
Mr Garnet Johnson, was forced to resign 
but, at his suggestion, he continued as 
Correspondence Secretary. 

May 7 June 


A ten-acre property at Kinglake was 
bequeathed to this Club by Mr Harold 
Frahm, and a management committee 
is to be appointed. 

The Natural History Medallion for 
1975 was awarded to Miss Alison Ashby 
of South Australia. A Medallion Trust 
Fund has been established with the hope 
it will finance the award which costs 
about $120 a year. 

Arrangements have been made with 
the National Herbarium for plant identi- 
fications free of charge under certain 

In 1980 this Club will reach its cen- 
tenary. Club archives contain consider- 
able material and members were asked 
to bring forward anything they might 
have. It is hoped to publish some his- 
torical material during the centenary 

Mrs Corrick thanked Office- Bearers, 
Council Members and other persons for 
their services to the Club. Her final 
words were: "We are a large and well- 
established Club with considerable assets, 
but the management of our affairs . . . 
falls on too few people. ... If we are 
to continue to exist as a Club we need 
the active help and interest of more of 
the general membership/' 

Treasurer's Report for 1975.f Mr 

McTnnes announced that a deficit of 
$826 at December 1974 had been turned 
to a credit of $371 in 1975 despite the 
reduction of outside grants from $3500 
to $1200. This successful result was 
largely due to the increased subscription 
fee which gained another $3000, and to 
advertising in and overseas sales of the 
'Naturalist', increased interest on invest- 
ments, and to economies in clerical 
costs and rents. Other items of interest 
were the Ivy Dixon legacy of $200, and 
a profifit of $547 from book sales for 
the Club Improvement Fund. Publica- 
tion of the revised Terns of Victoria 
and Tasmania' had been very successful 
with a profit of more than $2000 and a 
second printing has been ordered. 

Election of Council Members and 
Office-Bearers. Council consists of the 
President, Vice-President, Immediate 
Past President and ten other members. 
Nominations were: President — ■ Mrs M. 
Corrick; Council Members — M. Allen- 
der, B. Callahan, W. Clark, M. Lester, 
J. Martindale, A. Parkin, R. Sandell, 
T. Sault, B. Smith; Office-Bearers — Sec- 
retary A. Parkin, Assistant-Secretary 

Garnet Johnson, Excursion Secretary 
M. Allender, Librarian J. Martindale, 
Editor M. Lester. The Chairman de- 
clared all nominees elected. 

Speaker for the evening was Mrs Cor- 
rick who visited Lake Eyre in August 
last year when it was full of water. It is 
only the second time this century that 
water has remained in the lake for more 
than a few days. In 1975 it was more 
than 18 feet deep, and the exceptional 
conditions had brought an influx of 
birds. We hope to hear more of this in 
a later issue of the 'Naturalist'. 

Exhibits included various rocks from 
Mt Frazer — tuff, scoria, olivine crystals, 
secondary quartz crystals, and some 
secondary crystals of solutions formed 
by weathering of scoria carried the query 
"magnesite?". Olivine crystals were 
shown under a microscope x 82. 

Bark of Eucalyptus aromopholia called 
for rubbing bits of bark in the hand, 
much sniffing and speculation as to what 
it really smelled of, but complete agree- 
ment that the common name of Scent 
Bark was very appropriate. 

Blady Grass Imperato cylindrica is host 
plant for the Small Skipper Butterfly. 

Dozens of the Ribbed Case Moth 
were on a small sprig of what had been 
gum leaves, but the leaves had been 
entirely eaten away. Each case had three 
or four vertical ridges, and was cone- 
shaped up to H cm long by i cm at its 
widest part. The exhibit came from 
Cheltenham, and entomologists said they 
had never seen so many together. 

Discussion was lively concerning the 
reasons for few nominations and poor 
attendance at meetings. And our centen- 
ary coming up in 1980 caused more 

Our Kinglake property. Mr Mclnnes 
displayed a plan of the area with city 
blocks to same scale to give an idea of 
size, urged us to make full use of this 
asset and said that interested members 
are wanted for the management com- 
mittee of this property. 

People are inclined to think that an- 
nual meetings are dull affairs. This meet- 
ing was certainly not dull, and some 
members declared it one of our most 
enjoyable and stimulating evenings. 

* The complete report is filed with the Secretary's 

t Financial matters were printed in the April 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(Continued from page 82) 


At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Wednesday in the Month— Geology Group. 

7 July— "Looking at Geology under the Microscope". Mr. E. Sault. 
t 4 August— 'The Geology of Euroa". Mr. G. Love. 

Third Wednesday in the Month— Microscopical Group 

16 June, 21 July, 18 August— Members' exhibits with a variety of objects shown 
under microscopes and discussion of subjects and methods. 
Second Thursday in the Month — Botany Group 

10 June— "The Family Proteaceae". Miss L. White. 

8 July— "Mapping the Distribution of Plants in Victoria". Mr. Paul Gullan. 
12 August— "Native Pea Flower Plants". Dr. R. G. MacDonald. 

9 September— "The Grampians". Mrs. I. Dunn. 

Each meeting includes a quarter-hour address for beginners— various subjects. 

At the Conference Room, The Museum, Melbourne, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Monday in the Month— Marine Biology and Entomology Group 

5 July— "History of Naming and Classifying Insects". Mr. H. B. Wilson. 

2 August— "Members' Exhibits". 
Fourth Thursday in the Month— Field Survey Group 

24 June, 22 July, 26 August. 

At the Arthur Rylah Institute, Brown Street, Heidelberg, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Thursday in the Month— Mammal Survey Group. 
1 July, 5 August, 2 September. 


Day Group— Any member is welcome— Third Thursday in the Month 
Thursday, 17 June— Seeing Eye Dog School, Thanet Street, Malvern. Meet at 

Central Park, corner Wattletree and Burke Roads, East Malvern, at 11.30 a.m. 
Thursday, 15 July— New Animal Kingdom Display, National Museum (guided tour) 

Meet at Princes Gate 11.30 a.m., or at 1.00 p.m. at the Swanston Street entrance 

of the National Museum. 
Thursday, 19 August— National Gallery of Victoria (guided tour). Meet at Gallery 

entrance, St. Kilda Road, at 1.30 p.m. 

Geology Group — Any member with their own car invited. 
Sunday, 13 June— "Royal Park Fossils" (afternoon only). Meet at Royal Park Rail- 
way Station, 2.00 p.m. (cars not needed this excursion). 
Saturday, 10 July— "Geological Features close to Melbourne". Meet 2.00 p.m. at 

corner of Williams Road and Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra. 
Sunday, 8 August— "A Beginner's Look at the Fossils and Geology of Beaumaris". 

Meet at Cheltenham Railway Station at 2.00 p.m. 

Botany Group — All members welcome. 
Saturday, 26 June — "Ferns". Leader, Mrs. Webb-Ware. 
Saturday, 31 July— "Excursion to demonstrate Plant Mapping". Leader, Mr. Paul 

Saturday, 28 August— "Wattles". Warrandyte and Wonga Park. Leader, Mr. Ian 

Saturday, 11 September— "Cranbourne New Botanical Gardens". Leader, Mr. Ian 

Saturday, 25 September— "Survey of F.N.C.V. Land at Kinglake". 


The Field Survey Group and the Mammal Survey Group will hold a combined 
camp at "Gellion's Run in the Yarram District" during 12-13-14 June (Details 
Robin Sandell, 83 8009 home, or Ray Gibson 62 4007 business.) 

May/June 123 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

Established 1880 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora. 

His Excellency the Honorable Sir HENRY WINNEKE, K.C.M.G., O.B.E., Q.C. 

Key Oflice-Bearers, 1975-1976. 

Mrs. MARGARET CORRICK, 7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn, 3103. (857 9937.) 

Secretary: Dr. ALAN PARKIN. 

Assistant Secretary (correspondence): Mr. GARNET JOHNSON, 20 Sydare Avenue 
Chadstone, 3148. (56 3227.) 

Treasurer - Subscription Secretary: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Rd East 

Malvern, 3145. (211 2427.) 

Hon. Editor: Miss M. J. LESTER, 4/210 Domain Road, South Yarra, 3141. (26 1967.) 

Hon Librarian: Mr. J. MARTINDALE. c/o National Herbarium, The Domain, 
South Yarra. 

Hon. Excursion Secretary: Miss M. ALLENDER, 19 Hawthorn Avenue, Caulfield, 

Sales Officer: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135. (21 1 2427.) 
Archives Officer: Mr. CALLANAN, 29 Reynards St., Coburg, 3058. Tel. 36 0587. 

Group Secretaries 

Botany: Mrs. RUTH ANDERS, 7 Barrington Drive, Ashwood, 3137. (25 3816.) 
Day Group: Miss D. M. BELL, 17 Tower Street, Mont Albert, 3127. (89 2850.) 
Field Survey: R. D. SANDELL, 39 Rubens Gve., Canterbury, 3126. (83 8009) 
Geology: Mr. T. SAULT. 
Mammal^ Survey: Mr. STEPHEN HARWOOD, 5 Prentice Street, Elsternwick, 3185. 

Microscopical: Mr. M. H. MEYER, 36 Milroy St., East Brighton. (96 3268.) 


Membership of the F.N.C.V. is open to any person interested in natural history. 
I he Victorian Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and 
lending library is available and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the 
several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Rates of Subscriptions for 1975 


joint Metropolitan 

Joint Retired Members 

Country Subscribers, and Retired Persons over 65 

Joint Country 


Subscriptions to Vict. Nat. 

Overseas Subscription 

Junior with "Naturalist" 

Individual Magazines 

theS^blc^ bG made Payab ' e f ° the Fie,d Naturalist Clu b of Victoria and 











nosted to 


,»x.n,mmirit-ii.nninntTirr7iT t THHi rf iiriTT?fr;HfT»TrriTmr)Trri 


Registered in Australia for transmission by post as a periodical. 


At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra. 


Monday, 9 August (8.00 p.m.)— 

Speaker— Dr. Peter Attiwill. 
Subject— "Plants and the Atmosphere". 

Monday, 13 September (8.00 p.m.)— 

Speaker— Mr. S. J. Cowling, Assistant Director, Wild Life Branch, Fisheries and 

Wild Life Division. 
Subject— "The Objects of the Wild Life Branch". 

Monday, 11 October (8.00 p.m.)— 

Speaker— Dr. M. Joshi. 

Subject— "The Grand Canyon, U.S.A." 

New Members — August General Meeting: 


Mrs Loree Allen, 2 Griffiths Grove, East Brighton, 3187 (Birds and Plants). 

Mr D A Cooke, 9/51 Marne Street, South Yarra, 3141 (Botany). 

Mr Graham Milledge, 984 Lygon Street, North Carlton, 3054. 

Mrs M C Minty, 3/49 Wandsworth Road, Surrey Hills, 3127. 

Mr Warren H. Piatt, 7 Shirley Court, Boronia, 3155 (Birds and Mammals). 

Mrs. Margaret Sandiman, 65 Union Road, Surrey Hills, 3127. 


Mr. L. A. Fell, P.O. Box 4, Metung, 3904. , 

Mr. M. Taylor and Mrs. H. Taylor, 36 Park Avenue, Sandnngham, 3191 (Botany). 


Mr Ray Bolwell, 3 Woodlands Avenue, Mt. Eliza, 3930 (Mammals). 

Mr Russell P. Cook, 2 Warwick Street, Largs North, S.A., 5016. 

Mr. M. J. Dadds, 16 Coghlan Street, Chifley, A.C.T., 2606. 

Mr. Stephen J. Berrigan, 9 Braddon Street, Queenstown, Tasmania, 7467 (Forestry). 


Sunday, 15 August— Cardinia Reservoir and visit to Jells Road M.M.B.W. Park on 
the way. The coach will leave Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m. — fare $3.50, bring 
one meal. Leader: Mr. D. E. Mclnnes. 

Saturday, 21 August -Sunday, 5 September— New South Wales The coach will leave 
Flinders Street, outside the Gas and Fuel Corporation at 8.00 a.m. on Saturday, 
21 August Bring picnic lunches for Saturday and Sunday. Itinerary will be 
Orbost, Bateman's Bay, Cronulla (5 nights), Gosford (6 nights) Bathurst Albury, 
Melbourne. The balance of the payment ($265.00 including deposit) should be 
paid to the excursion secretary by 12 August. 

Sunday, 19 September— Langwarrin. The coach will leave Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m. 
Fare $4.00, bring one meal. 

Sunday, 17 October— Kinglake. See next issue. 

Tuesday, 2 November— Cup Day Picnic. Wombat Forest under the leadership of 
Mr. J. Myers. A special invitation is issued to Juniors for this excursion. Further 
details next issue. 

Saturday, 1 January -Sunday, 9 January, 1977— Burnie, Tasmania, with members of 
the Burnie F.N.C. leading. Details later. 

(Continued on page 167) 
126 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

21 FEB 1977 


The Victorian 

Volume 93, Number 4 4 August 1976 

Editor: Margery J.Lester 
Committee: Margaret Corrick, Reuben Kent,Roland Myers, Brian Smith, Grif Ward 

Life History and Biology of a Snail, by Brian Smith 128 

Victorian Non-Marine Molluscs, by Brian Smith 130 

The Spines of Sea Urchins, by H.H. Bishop ,.' 132 

Stone Age Camp Site at Frankston, by A.E.Spillane 134 

Mammals in Pomonal Area of The Grampians, by J.H.Seebeck 138 

Water in Lake Eyre, by M.G. Corrick 148 

Rainbow Birds in the Warby Ranges, by I.C.Morris 152 

Visit to Doughboy Island in Furneaux Group, by J.S.Whinray 155 

Distribution of Plants, by A.C.Beauglehole and R.F.Parsons . . 159 

New Australian Plant for Victoria, by Jean Galbraith 161 

Generic Names of Victorian Flora, by J.A.Baines 162 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria: The Mammal Survey Group 165 
Country Members 165, Reports of Meetings 166. 

Cover illustration: Sugar Glider, Petaurus breviceps; see page 143 
for an interesting observation. Photograph by John Wallis. 

Life History and Biology of a Snail 

Part 1. Aestivation and Reproduction 

BY Brian J. Smith* 

This article is an attempt to answer 
the many questions about the amazing 
success in a hostile environment, of 
such a soft-bodied animal as the land 

Terrestrial molluscs are a very suc- 
cessful group o\' animals being found 
in desert areas, in tropical forests, and 
even on open sand-dunes within the 
spray /one from the sea. Evolving 
from aquatic ancestors, the land snail 
has many unique problems to over- 
come in its new environment and it 
has solved these in a very original way. 

Contrasting environments of 
marine and land molluscs 

The ancestral molluscs lived in the 
sea, where they were bathed in a weak 
salt solution, could liberate their eggs 
and sperm into the water for external 
fertilization and where the resulting 
planktonic larva, the veliger, could 
survive and spread the species. The 
animals could move about fairly freely 
and the population density was usually 
high, so finding a partner for breeding 
was no problem. 

On land the environment is hostile, 
with the constant threat of desiccation. 
Favourable niches can be few and the 
sizes of populations and opportunities 
for breeding can be limited. (Intro- 
duced species in suburban gardens 
have a highly artificial environment 
ideal for the culture of snails. Go into 
the bush and try and find a native 
snail and the problem of individual 
isolation becomes apparent). Fertiliza- 
tion must be in the body of the snail, 
and the developing embryo must be 
protected until it is able to withstand 

the rigours of the environment. 

The methods of protection against 
desiccation in land molluscs are mainly 
behavioural. The snails seek out damp 
sheltered places under rocks or logs 
or buried in the ground, and only 
emerge when the conditions are cool 
and wet and the evaporation rate is 
practically nil. Thus snails emerge 
mainly at night or only on wet, over- 
cast days. 


In hot dry weather the snails go into 
a period of dormancy or aestivation, 
very similar in some ways to the hiber- 
nation of some vertebrates in cold 

When conditions start to become 
unfavourable for the snail, hot and dry 
with little moisture, it is forced into 
places of shelter away from the ex- 
tremes. (One or two species do not do 
this and they will be discussed below.) 

The snails either seal themselves 
down to a hard surface or secrete 
calcareous membranes over the shell 


Figure 1. Ventral view of desert snail 
showing position of a series of epiphragms. 

* Curator of ln\ ertebrates. 
National Museum of Victoria. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

aperture. These membranes are called 
epiphragms and in some desert snails 
several epiphragms are secreted (Fig. 
1). The membranes or sealing sub- 
stance is a special mucus-type sub- 
stance which hardens in air to an im- 
pervious layer. 

These protective measures are de- 
signed to minimize water loss. Internal 
body processes such as respiration, 
heart-rate, excretion and others are 
slowed right down to practically noth- 
ing, probably under hormone control. 

Some desert snails have the ability 
to remain in aestivation for years, only 
"coming back to life" when sufficient 
water is present to dissolve the epi- 
phragm and provide the initial sti- 
mulus to the animal. This facility of 
desert snails to undergo extended 
aestivation is a special adaptation to 
desert life. 

Ordinary garden snails can only sur- 
vive aestivation for a few months and 
even then may require brief periods of 

A few snails, principally Theba 
piscina and Cernuella virgata, appear 
to aestivate in the worst possible 
places. These are species of white heli- 
coid snails seen in large numbers up 
posts and on the outer parts of vege- 
tation in southern Victoria and South 
Australia. Both these species are found 
in aestivation in the direct summer 
sun. However, they are always sealed 
down firmly to a hard surface; pre- 
sumably in this species it is the sealing 
down process that is important, and 
being in direct sunlight is no problem 
to them. 


It is in reproduction that the 
greatest differences between terrestrial 
and marine molluscs occur. To in- 
crease reproductive success the land 
snails are hermaphrodite, with each in- 
dividual having both male and female 
organs. This means that every indivi- 
dual in a population can lay eggs, not 



Male glands mature 

Mating: reciprocal 

transfer of 

sperm packet 

Eggs laid 

Eggs receive albumen and 
membranes from a shell 


Storage of sperm 

Female glands mature 
Male glands decline a 

^ >Sex change ' 

Sequence of reproduction in a land snail. 

just half the population, the females, 
as in most groups of animals. 

The anatomy of the reproductive 
tract of a snail is shown in Fig. 2. The 
gonad produces both sperm and eggs 
which are passed in turn down the 
common duct and out through the 
genital atrium. 

The snail commences its breeding 
activity as a functional male with the 
gonad producing sperm and the auxi- 
liary male glands maturing. As sperm 
is passed down the common duct it is 
enclosed in a protein envelope secreted 
by these male auxiliary glands into a 
kind of sperm parcel called the sper- 

At mating two individuals come to- 
gether, both physiologically in the 
male stage of reproductive activity. 
Copulation takes from 5 to 60 minutes 
and usually occurs at night; it consists 
of the reciprocal transfer of sper- 
matophores from one snail to the 
other. The spermatophore from the 
partner is taken and stored in a special 
sack, the spermatheca, where the wall 
of the spermatophore is broken down 
and the sperm stored. 

The animal then undergoes a sex 
change. The gonad no longer produces 
sperm, but the many egg cells mature 
and start their passage down the re- 
productive tract. During this sex 



'Fertilization pouch 

Albumen gland 




Common duct 

Genital atrium 

Figure 2. 

Diagram of snail to 
show the position 
of the reproductive 

Vas deferens 

change the male accessary glands are 
reduced and the female ones expand 
and mature. 

When the eggs are released from the 
gonad into the top part of the repro- 
ductive tract, the stored sperms are 
passed from the storage sack or sper- 
matheca down the tract to meet and 
fertilize the eggs. These fertilized eggs 
are then surrounded by a layer of 
"albumen", a protein food for the egg 
from the albumen gland. This enlarged 
egg is then surrounded by a series of 
egg membranes and finally with a cal- 
careous shell from the female auxiliary 

glands of the common duct. The eggs 
are then layed in clutches of 20 to 30 
in shallow holes in damp ground where 
they take several weeks to develop into 
miniature snails. 

This process of laying large eggs 
with plenty of food for the developing 
embryo inside a thick impervious shell, 
enables the young snails to develop 
successfully away from water. It was 
the development of this facility which 
enabled the terrestrial molluscs to suc- 
cessfully conquer the land. 

Movement and feeding in snails will 
be described in a later article. 

Victorian Non-Marine Molluscs, No. 15 

by Brian J. Smith* 

The largest and most widespread 
family of land snails in Australia, 
speaking either from the point of view 
oi' species diversity or family distribu- 
tion, is the family Camaenidae. This 
is the dominant family of snails in the 
faunas of Queensland, Northern and 
Central Australia. However, this 
dominance does not extend into the 

south-eastern Australian faunal region 
where the family is confined to a 
single species endemic to the region, 
together with several species charac- 
teristic of adjacent regions which en- 
croach over the boundaries into this 

* Curator of Invertebrates. 
National Museum of Victoria 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Chloritobadistes victoriae (Cox 1868) 
This species has a dark brown glo- 
bose shell, an average diameter being 
8-12 mm. It is characteristed by very 
fine, dense, periostracal 'hairs' on the 
outside of the shell, these hairs being 
irregularly placed giving the appear- 
ance of the shell covered with a fine 
brown velvet. On dead shells, where 
the periostracum has been removed, 
evidence can be seen for the presence 
of the hairs in the form of minute 
hemispherical pustulae on the surface 
of the shell. These are thickenings of 
the shell at the base of each hair. 

C. victoriae is confined to southern 
and central Victoria and Northern 
Tasmania where it is found in both 
wet and dry sclerophyll forest areas 
and in marginal woodland scrub. It is 
found in damp situations under logs, 
fallen bark or in litter and in many 
areas is very common. 

In south-eastern Australia there is 
only one other species of snail bearing 
periostracal hairs with which C. vic- 
toriae could be confused. This is a 
closely related species, belonging to 
the same genus, Chloritobadistes 
brevipila (Pfr. 1849). This species 
occurs in southern Queensland, 
through New South Wales and into 
far eastern Victoria. The shell shape 
and form is generally similar to C. 
victoriae, but the periostracal hairs are 
large, widely spaced and in regular 
rows. On dead shells the raised pustu- 

lae are also large and arranged in 
regular rows. 

It is not known whether the two 
species occur together in East Gipps- 

Drawings by Miss Rhyllis Plant 

Preparing material for 'The Victorian Naturalist' 

When preparing material for publication, please have it typed with double line 
spacing and leave at least 3 cm (about 1|") clear margin at the left. Captions to 
figures should be typed on a separate page. Monochrome illustrations should be 
supplied, as it is costly and rarely satisfactory to reproduce from coloured material. 
If article is of a scientific nature, it is desirable to supply two copies of text matter. 



The Spines of Sea Urchins 

by H. H. Bishop, Microscopy Group, FNC'V 

In the previous journal, Vol. 93, No. 
3, an article was published giving de- 
tails for making microscope slides 
from the spines of sea urchins. This 
article deals with the collecting of sea 
urchins, and describes the spines from 
some different species. 


As most sea urchins are vegetable 
feeders, living on seaweeds or on the 
green algal scum that covers rocks, 
the most likely place to find them is 
where these conditions prevail. 

In Victoria, specimens of our most 
common sea urchin, Heliocidaris ery- 
throgramma, can be found on rock 
platforms around Port Phillip Bay. 
Other areas for collecting are sheltered 
bays on the Victorian and New South 
Wales coast. Specimens may also be 
lound on less sheltered coasts after 
severe storms. 


Spines of the various species differ 
considerably in shape, size and colour, 
and the colour of individuals varies 
according to the condition of habitat. 
Under natural conditions, dark speci- 
mens are usually found in bright light 
and clear water, while pale individuals 
are found in darker and more turbid 
conditions. Many sea urchins living in 
shallow water are nocturnal, avoiding 
the light in daytime by moving under 

When viewed under the microscope 
the different patterns and brilliant 
colours of the spine sections are re- 
vealed. Although the external colour 
of individuals of a species may vary, 

the colour pattern of a cross-section 
of spines is the same for that species. 
A description of the spines of the 
sea urchins collected by the writer is 
as follows; they are members of four 
different families. 


Heliocidaris erythrogramma is the 
most common sea urchin on the Vic- 
torian and New South Wales coast. 
Spines are solid and round, tapering 
to a point. Length of the spines de- 
pends on age, and range from one to 
two inches when fully grown. Colours 
of individuals range from a light olive 
green to dark purple. Spines also vary 
in colour throughout their length, 
tending to a lighter shade at the tip. 

Sections cut from spines of this sea 
urchin make very attractive micro- 
scope slides. They have rings radiating 
out from a centre core, and there are 
microscopic perforations over the en- 
tire area which give the appearance of 
a circular piece of lacework in dif- 
ferent colours. 


Goniocidaris tubaria. The spines of 
this sea urchin are unusual, having 
horny protrusions along their length 
and terminating with a broad flat end. 
Spines are a creamy colour, with the 
horny protrusions tipped with brown. 

Phyllacanthus parvispinus is com- 
monly known as the slate pencil sea 
urchin. This is a remarkable looking 
sea urchin with a small number of 
large, thick round primary spines sur- 
rounded by numerous small secondary 
spines. Tt is found on the New South 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Wales coast at low water level, and 
usually in small numbers as they 
prefer deeper water. 

Another member of this family is 
Heterocentrotus trigonarius, which has 
large triangular spines; colour of the 
spines varies from fawn to dull red, 
with a band of white. 

Spine sections of members of the 
family Cidaridae do not have rings 
like those of Heliocidaris erythro- 
gramma and are more compact, but 
they do have the overall microscopic 


Holopneustes in flat us is a small, 
nearly spherical sea urchin with 
short delicate spines, usually a pale 
flesh tint in colour. These sea urchins 

live among the large brown seaweeds 
and are only found on the beaches on 
rare occasions. 


Centrostephanus rodgersii, a large 
sea urchin, is found on the New South 
Wales coast. It has long hollow spines 
finely sculptured, colours ranging from 
a deep purple to almost black. Sections 
cut from the spines have the appear- 
ance of rubies. 

The species mentioned here are only 
those which the writer has been for- 
tunate enough to collect. There are 
numerous other species on the Aus- 
tralian coast and elsewhere which he 
would like to have and would be glad 
to receive from other collectors. 

Why I enjoy Microscopy 

To an enquiring mind, trained to ob- 
serve, and search for the "why" and 
"how", microscopy reveals a whole new 
world that the unaided eye cannot 

Until the end of secondary school years 
I lived on a farm where my parents en- 
couraged an interest and appreciation of 
nature in its variety of forms, animal, 
vegetable and mineral. Tertiary education 
added some knowledge of mechanics, 
electricity, optics and illumination; but 
not one microscope to see through. 

My first "microscope" was a 12/6 
Japanese instrument, 200X, 400X, 600X 
in a neat wooden box, but it did not (and 
could not) give much satisfaction. Later 
my interest was aroused by an article in 

"Victorian Naturalist" on making a micro- 
scope with standard lens, and by micro- 
scopy exhibits at an F.N.C.V. nature show. 

Now that accumulated years have re- 
leased me from the rat race and left me 
with good sight and health, T can enjoy 
the pleasures and wonder of seeing the 
"invisible" but all-important details of 
life in their infinity of form and com- 
plexity. I also enjoy the fellowship of 
like-minded folk wiser than I in the realm 
of the "invisible". 

It is gratifying, too, to see how friends 
and acquaintances appreciate what they 
see through my microscopes; worlds they 
did not know existed in plant forms, 
acquatic life, insects and the beauty of 
crystals. U. Bates. 

Notice to Authors concerning first proofs 

If authors wish to see galley proofs, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope 
with your material and proofs will be sent to you as a matter of routine. But time is 
critical, and the editor should receive checked and OKd proofs by return mail or 
such material could be delayed to a later issue. 



Stone Age Camp Site at Frankston 


Frankston is a large thriving city on 
the shores of Port Phillip Bay and 
has the distinction of being the main 
gateway to the Mornington Peninsula. 
Seeing the area today, it is hard to 
imagine that not so many years ago, 
a tribe of Aborigines had an important 
camp site about three kilometres from 
the heart of the present city. 

The camp site 

The camp site was situated just off 
the south side of Cranbourne Road, on 
a property known until recently as 
Ridout's Sandpits. The Aborigines had 
their camp high up on a sand dune. 
From the top of the dune they would 
have had a very picturesque view of 
the surrounding countryside. Looking 
north, they would have seen the 
mountains of the Dandenongs, to the 
west the waters of Port Phillip Bay, 
while a large amount of the flat coun- 
try in between contained the large 
( urnim-( arrum Swamp. 

From the Aborigines viewpoint, the 
site would have been in an ideal posi- 

tion. The sandy ground was compara- 
tively dry and warm in the winter; it 
was near the Bay for fishing and the 
gathering of shellfish; the surrounding 
bush would have supplied mammals 
for food, while the extensive Carrum- 
Carrum Swamp would have harboured 
thousands of water birds in good sea- 
sons. Most important of all, just to the 
south of the site were swamps con- 
taining water for the needs of the 

When the Peninsula was first settled, 
the Bunurong tribe of Aborigines in- 
habited the area. In all probability, it 
was people from that tribe who occu- 
pied the site. 

In 1908, the property containing the 
camp site was acquired by the Ridout 
family and used for the extraction of 
sand for the building industry. Ori- 
ginally, the area was covered by the 
heathland flora which was typical of 
this part of the Peninsula. 

; President, Peninsula Field Naturalists' Club. 
Photographs by author. 

Plate 1. Ground-edge axe from the site; 22.1 cm long. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Plate 2. 

Muller found ill 

the site; 6.5 cm 

Stone implements 

Several years ago when Mr. M. H. 
Ridout was removing sand from a 
locality on the property close to a 
large reed-covered swamp, he un- 
covered a ground-edge axe resting on 
marl. The soil covering the axe con- 
tained charcoal. The axe (Plate 1) is 
the largest and one of the finest speci- 
mens From the Peninsula that the 
writer has examined. The stone from 
which it was manufactured is "green 
stone" (metabasalt), possibly from one 
of the Aboriginal quarries at either 

Mount William or Mount Came] in 
Victoria. Its dimensions are 22.1cm 
long by c >.2 cm by 4.3 cm. 

Another interesting find made by 
Mr. Ridout on the property was a 
mullcr (Plate 2); it is 6.5 cm long by 
4 cm by 3.8 cm. Mullers were used in 
conjunction with millstones for grind- 
ing seeds from wattles and other plants 
for food; they are rarely found on 
the Peninsula. 

Over the years, some very interest 
ing microliths the "pygmy" stone 
implements of the Aborigines have 




Plate 3. Mieroliths from the site; actual size, 


*4 m* 

PJ tftii' 

Plate 4, I rapezes, points, and triangle from the site; actual size. 

been found at the site. They include stone materials used in their manu- 
segments, trapezes, scrapers, Hakes, facture were fine and coarse-grained 
and Bondi points. The main types of quartzite, quartz and chert. 





Plate 5. Microliths from the site; actual size 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The microliths from the site arc par- 
ticularly interesting as they cover a 
large range of types and sizes, Plate 3 
shows a group ol' segments. On the ex- 
treme right, top row, is a sturdy speci- 
men 30mm long, while another cv 
ample at extreme left, bottom row, is 
only I 1 mm long. 

The trapezes in Plate 4 range in 
length from 2 C ) mm to 12 mm. An in- 
teresting microlith in this group is the 
triangle, extreme light, bottom row; 
triangles are seldom found on the 
Peninsula. Top left is a line example 
Of a Bondi point; it is 24 mm long. 

Plate 5 illustrates the disparity in 
the sizes of* geometric microliths. Top 
right, is a very chunky type ol* seg- 
ment, 17 mm high. The specimen on 
the extreme right, second row, is 
IS mm long and only 2 mm thick; it 
shows signs o\' great age. The segment 
on the left, bottom row, is only 10 mm 


The sand dune upon which the main 
"workshop" area of the camp was 

situated has now gone; the urbani/a 
tion of this part oi' Irankston is pro- 
ceeding rapidly and is removing all 
tangible evidence o\' the Stone Age 
people who used to roam over this 
region oi' the Peninsula. 


1 am indebted to Mr. M. II. Rid- 
out lor his kindness in making his axe 
and muller available to me lor inspec- 
tion and photography, also Tor his valu- 
able information regarding the histon 
of this very interesting site. 


Howitt, A. W., 1 ( )()4. "The Native Tribes of 

South East Australia", Macmillan, l ondon 
Massola, Aldo, i ( >so. "History of the Coast 

Tribe", Victorian Naturalist, 76(1), 
McCarthy, F. I) , l l )(>7. "Ausii.iii.ui Abori 

ginal Stone Implements", Australian 

Museum, Sydnej . 
Mitchell, S. R., L949. "Stone Age Craftsmen" 

Spillane, A. E., l ( >7l. "Aboriginal Relics on 

the Moriuu^iou Peninsula", I ictorian 

Naturalist, 88 ( 12). 
Spillane, A. E., 1973, "Traces I eft by the 

Aborigines on Phillip Island, Victoria", Ibid, 

*>o (9). 
Spillane, A. E., l l >74. "An Aboriginal ('amp 

Site al Portsea, Victoria", Ibid, 91 (7). 

Natural History Medallion Trust Fund 

I he Natural History Medallion was 
instituted in l c W as an annual award 
in recognition of outstanding service to 
Australian natural history. For many 
years it has been financed solely by the 
Field Naturalists Club oi' Victoria. 

Why is the FNCV now asking for 
contributions to this Medallion Fund? 

Over the last live years the I N( V has 
paid out S>2() to maintain the Medallion 
award. Back in I960 the cost was £9 10 6 
and a member's subscription was £2; in 
effect, the cost was equal to live mem- 
bers' subscriptions. In 1975 the cost was 
$123 and a member's subscription was 

$10, so last year it took more than twelve 
Subscriptions to meet the eost. 

The purpose of the Natural Histor) 

Medallion I rust Fund is to have an in- 
vestment that will provide an annual 

contribution to help finance the award. 

We appeal to pubhe institutions inlei 

ested in natural history to assist in build- 
ing up this Fund. 

The following donations have been 
received and we thank the donors: 

Amount invested 

as at 31 March 1976 SUM 

Peninsula Conservation League .. 5 

Mr lom Sault 10 

Total $319 

GARNET Johnson, Assistant Si < ki iaio 

July 7 August 


Mammal Survey Group Contribution No. 9 

Mammals in the Pomonal area, The Grampians 

BY J. H. Seebeck*| 


Between 24 December 1970 and 3 
January 1971 members of the Mammal 
Survey Group of the Field Naturalists 
Club of Victoria carried out a survey 
of the mammals of the Pomonal area 
of The Grampians, Western Victoria. 
In this paper the results of that survey 

Figure 1. Survey area, Pomonal 
A-H Trapping sites. X Camp. 

and some additional data collected by 
the author are reported. The names of 
the members of the Group whose 
work provided the data for this paper 
are listed in the acknowledgements. 

Description of the area 

The area surveyed (Figure 1) was 
about 3.5 km south of Pomonal town- 
ship, in the eastern foothills of the Mt 
William Range, almost directly below 
Mt Cassel. Traps were set at eight 
sites (Figure 1) referred to as: 

A. Camp area and Fanthams Peak 

B. Jones' property 

C. Mitchell Road 

D. Redmans Road west 

E. Redmans Road east 

F. Kalimna Falls Picnic Ground 

G. Moyston West 

H. Stawell Water Supply pipeline. 

These sites were chosen because 
they were representative of the dif- 
ferent vegetation formations present 
in the area, and at a more detailed 
level, contained most of the alliances 
within those formations (as defined by 
Sibley 1967). Table 1 indicates the 
vegetation formation at each site. 

Spotlighting was carried out near 
the camp in area A and at three other 
sites: The Black Range (Bunjils Cave 
Reserve); Mount Zero Road north of 
Halls Gap; and a part of the Serra 
Road and Victoria Valley Road in the 
northern Victoria Valley. 

Incidental observations were made 

*Mammal Survey Group of Vxtoria, 

C/o Secretary, 3 Harold St, Blackburn 3130. 

tFishenes and Wildlife Division, 

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental 

Research, 123 Brown St, Heidelberg 3084. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

of mammals in other parts of The 

Land Use 

Freehold land in the area is used for 
grazing of sheep and cattle and for 
growing vegetables, particularly pota- 
toes. Most of the farms adjoining 
public land had uncleared or partially 
cleared areas abutting the uncleared 
public land. These farms have existed 
in their present form for many years 
but earlier had formed part of the 
large grazing properties of the original 
European settlers in the district. 

Public land investigated during the 
survey was mostly Reserved Forest 
forming a part of The Grampians 
State Forest which is administered by 
the Forests Commission, Victoria. 

Geology and Soils 

The geology of the Grampians has 
been described in detail by Spencer- 
Jones (1965) and the soils by Sibley 
(1967). The area surveyed comprised 
two different categories: 

(a) that north of Redmans Road, 
which is part of the Grampians Plains 
land-system outwash slopes, with deep 
sandy nomopodsolic soils developed on 
siliceous sands derived from the car- 
boniferous sandstones of the ranges, 

(b) that along Mitchell Road, south 
of Redmans Road, which is part of 
the Grampians Ranges land-system, 
composed of coarse to medium quart- 
zose sandstones. The soils developed 
on this base are rocky, iron nomo- 


Vegetation formations varied from 
dry sclerophyll forest through scrub to 

The dry sclerophyll forest in the 
northern section was intermingled 
with heath-woodland. Along Mitchell 
Road on the more skeletal soils, most 

of the area was covered with dry 
sclerophyll forest and heath-woodland, 
open heathland and some wet creek 
gullies where the understorey vegeta- 
tion was typical of the wet sclerophyll 
forests in The Grampians. 

The major plant alliances in the dry 
sclerophyll forest and heath-woodland 
were the messmate-scentbark alliance 
and the brown stringybark-messmate- 
scentbark alliance. The main differ- 
ences between the two alliances were 
in the spacing and form of the trees 
which reflected the comparative dry- 
ness or wetness of their respective 
sites. The heath understoreys present 
in both alliances were 1-2 m high and 
included several species of Acacia, 
Banksia marginata, Leptosperm urn 
juniperinum and Xanthorrhoea aus- 
tralis as major components. 

The dry scrub along Mitchell Road 
was composed largely of heath under- 
storey species with scattered, stunted 
eucalypts — long-leaf box (Eucalptus 
goniocalyx) and brown stringybark 
(E. baxteri) being the most common. 
The heathland in the area was 
mainly that included in the prickly 
teatree-silver banksia alliance. Many 
other species including Casuarina 
paludosa and various species of Xan- 
thorrhoea, Hakea, Acacia, Pultenaea, 
Dillwynia, Melaleuca, Leucopogon 
and Epacris were present. 


Sibley (1967) has described certain 
elements of the climate of The Gram- 
pians in some detail, particularly rain- 
fall and temperature. The survey area 
lay mostly between the 650-700 iso- 
hyets, but the southern area along 
Mitchell Road lay between the 750- 
900 mm isohyets. There is a late 
winter maximum and a summer mini- 
mum distribution of rainfall. 

Temperature records for The Gram- 
pians area are available only for 
Horsham, Ararat and Hamilton and 



Tabic 1. 
Trapping and spotlighting effort. 


Vege- Number Number 
tation of of 

forma- trap spotlight 

lion 1 nights hours 







C s 


















Black Range 



Victoria Valley 



Mount Zero Road 






•HW heath-woodland 

forest, S = scrub. 

I )l dry sclerophyll 

show that July is the coldest month 
with a mean maximum temperature of 
about 8°C, and February the hottest 
month with a mean maximum tem- 
perature of about 19°C. 

During the period of the survey the 
weather ranged from very hot and 
dry to cold, wet and windy. 


Trapping was carried out with wire 
mesh cage traps, 360 x 200 x 165 mm, 
and some folding aluminium traps, 

450 x 160 x 150 mm, baited with a 
mixture of peanut butter, rolled oats 
and honey. Traps were set for only 
one night at each site except those 
near camp, where traps were set for 
up to three nights. 

Along Fanthams Peak Road a grid 
of 95 trap stations was set out in con- 
junction with Miss M. Stanley (now 
Dr. M. Happold) of the Department 
of Zoology, Monash University. This 
grid system covered an area of approxi- 
mately 3.5 ha, and traps were set for 
three nights for a total of 182 trap 

Mist nets were set on two occasions 
to catch bats. Spotlighting, using 6- 
volt portable spotlights, was carried 
out on foot and from motor vehicles. 
Chance sightings of mammals were 
recorded and skeletal material found 
was collected. 

Table 1 gives a summary of the 
trappings and spotlighting effort. 


During the survey 15 native species 
and 4 introduced species of mammals 
were recorded in the Pomonal area. 
Details of trapping and spotlighting 
results are given in Tables 2 and 3. 

Table 2. Trapping results. Number of animals caught. 


Total number 
Number of each species caught at 8 sites of each species 
A B C~ D E F G H caught 

Antechinus flavipes 
A . stuartii 
A. swainsanii 
Isoodon obesulus 
Trichosurus vulpecula 
Potorous apicalis 
Rutins rattus 
R. lutreplus 
Mus musculus 
Pseudomys short ridgei 

Total number of animals 
trapped at each site 




9 1 


4 1 







75 15 

Number of species at 
each site 


% Trapping success 


19.48 25.86 10.00 12.5 10.35 20 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Records of a further two native 
species collected by the author are 
included and the presence of one 
further species of macropod in the 
areas is considered possible. 

Notes on the Species Recorded 

Voucher specimens which have been 
retained form a part of the collection 
of the Fisheries and Wildlife Division, 
Ministry for Conservation, Victoria. 

Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus 

Only three individuals of this 
species were seen during the survey. 
Two were observed in daylight near 
the camp and one by spotlighting 
along the Victoria Valley Road. In 
March 1968 the author observed two 
animals, one on Fanthams Peak Road, 
the other on Redmans Road within 
the Reserved Forest. No specimens 
were collected. 

Yellow-footed antechinus, 
Antechinus flavipes 

This species was encountered only 
in the heath-woodland areas close to 
the campsite and in similar habitat 
near the Long Gully Road junction. 
The author also recorded this species 
at Moyston West in March 1968. 

Echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus. 
Photo by John Wallis. 

Of the 10 individuals trapped, two 
were juvenile males, one was an adult 
male, one was a juvenile female and 
three were adult females. The sex of 
three animals was not determined. 
One of the adult females was lactating. 

Traps were usually collected in the 
morning so it is not known at what 
time animals were trapped; however, 
two animals were trapped during day- 
light. Diurnal activity is not uncommon 
within the genus Antechinus. 

Specimen: 5641. 

Brown antechinus, Antechinus stuartii 
A. stuartii was trapped only in the 
southern section of the survey area, 
along Redmans Road and Mitchell 
Road, in the Grampians Ranges land- 

Table 3. Spotlighting Results. 

No. of each spec 
A Black 

ies seen at 4 


Total no. 

of each 




Mt Zero 


Tachyglossus aculeatus 
Phascolarctos cinercus 
Trich osu rus vulpecu la 
Pseudocheirus peregrinus 
Petaurus breviceps 
Macro pus giganteus 
M . fuliginosus 
M . rufogriseus 
Vulpes vulpes 

















Total number of animals 
seen at each site 





Number of species 
at each site 





July / August 


Swainson's antechinus, Antechinus swainsonii. 
Photo by Leigh Winsor. 

system. Capture sites varied from the 
dry rocky bed of a creek to heathland, 
but most were near creeks in very 
dense ground-cover. 

The ratio of female to male cap- 
tives was about 2: 1 with most animals 
(9 of 13) being juvenile or sub-adult. 
The only adult animals recorded were 

Specimens: 5639, 5646. 

Swainsons antechinus, 
Antechinus swainsonii 

Two female and three male animals 
were trapped. All were adult. The 
species was found in heath-woodland 
near the camp, but along Mitchell 
Road creekside vegetation appeared 
to be the preferred habitat. 

Specimens: 5633, 5643. 

Short-nosed bandicoot, 
Isoodon obesulus 

Most of the specimens were taken 
in the heath-woodland along Fan- 
thams Peak Road. Two animals were 
trapped in dense bracken beside a 
creek about 2 km south of the camp 

The trapping records indicate a sex 
ratio of 1:1, but a number of animals 
were recaptures. About 50% of males 
and 75% of females were adult. Three 
females had pouch young litters of 1, 
2 and 3. The single young and 1 of the 

litter of 2 were rejected by their 
mothers whilst in the trap. 

On the grid area along Fanthams 
Peak Road, /. obesulus was trapped on 
two successive nights. Eight animals 
were trapped on the first night and 
seven of these were marked at that 
time. Eight animals were trapped on 
the second night. Of these, two were 
confirmed recaptures and one, a 
juvenile, probably a recapture. No 
bandicoots were trapped on the grid 
on the next night. 

Specimens: 5643, 5653. 

Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus 

All animals seen were detected by 
spotlight. An adult female and asso- 
ciated juvenile were seen along Fan- 
thams Peak Road and two adults were 
seen along Mt Zero Road north of 
Halls Gap. Many animals were heard 
calling in the general vicinity of the 
camp. No specimens were collected. 

Brush-tailed possum, 
Trichosurus vulpecula 

Brush-tailed possums were encoun- 
tered in all areas surveyed. Two adult 
animals were trapped, one on Red- 
mans Road, the other at the pipeline 
tunnel. Spotlighting near the camp, 
north of Halls Gap, in the Bunjils 
Cave Reserve and along the Victoria 
Valley Road revealed low numbers of 
the species. 

The sex of only a few animals was 
determined and no juveniles were re- 
ported. Road-killed specimens were 
seen along roads in the area. 

Specimen: 5636. 

Ring-tailed possum, 
Pseudocheirus peregrin us 

Few ring-tailed possums were 
observed by spotlighting. Most of 
those seen were along Fanthams Peak 
Road and they included two animals 
which were disturbed at a nest hollow 
some 5 m above ground level. The 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

mummified remains of a juvenile and 
an old, weathered skull were found 
near the camp area. In 1968 the 
author found, by spotlighting, that the 
species was very common along Fan- 
thams Peak Road and near the camp. 
Specimens: 5660, 5661. 

Sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps 

Four animals were seen along Fan- 
thams Peak Road in one evening's 
spotlighting. One was feeding on 
flowers of a Banksia marginata. In 
addition to one animal being seen, two 
others were heard calling in the Mt 
Zero Road area, north of Halls Gap. 
On 30 December, while watching 
mist nets strung across a small dam 
in a paddock near the camp, three 
animals were observed in a tree along- 
side the dam. After the initial sight- 
ing the animals disappeared and it 
was some time before they were again 
located, by careful listening. No other 
trees were within gliding distance. 
Finally one animal was observed from 
a distance of about 1 m; it was licking 
sap that had collected in a pocket 
where a branch joined the main trunk. 
Subsequent investigation showed that 
at the pocket and elsewhere, the bark 
had been incised in a small "v" so 
that the sap was diverted into the 
branch-trunk pockets. No specimens 
were collected. 

the camp in the heath-woodland along 
Fanthams Peak Road. Thirteen 
potoroos were caught on the grid and 
three nearby. The 13 were marked with 
ear-tags and comprised 5 adult males, 
5 adult females and 3 animals whose 
sex was not determined. One of these 
was an independent juvenile. Four of 
the five females were carrying pouch 

Specimens: 5642, 5655. 

Grey kangaroo, Macropus sp. 

Near the camp during the survey 
two animals were spotlighted, a mob 
of 12 was seen in daylight in open 
paddocks and two skulls were col- 
lected. On 2 January 1971, 53 indi- 
viduals were seen by spotlight along 
the Victoria Valley and Serra Roads. 
Grey kangaroos are regularly seen in 
Halls Gap township and road kills are 
not uncommon along the Grampians 

At the time of the survey, members 
of the Group did not distinguish be- 
tween the two species of grey kangaroo 

Macropus giganteus and M. fuli- 
ginosus — that occur sympatrically in 
parts of The Grampians. Records kept 
at the time refer only to "grey kan- 
garoo". From observations by the 

Feather-tailed glider, 
Acrobatcs pygmaeus 

In 1968 the author was shown a 
photograph of an A. pygmaeus which 
had been collected at Fyans Creek 
(14km north of Pomonal township) in 
March 1967. Another specimen found 
in a house at the junction of Redmans 
Road and the Pomonal South Road 
was also reported to the author in 

Potoroo, Potorous a pica! is 

This species was found only near 

Feather-tailed glider, Acrobates pygmaeus. 
Photo by courtesy Fisheries and Wildlife. 



author and others since the survey it 
seems probable that most of the 
animals seen on the eastern side of the 
Mt William Range were M. giganteus. 
However, the species composition of 
the 53 grey kangaroos observed in the 
Victoria Valley cannot be established 
since both species occur there with 
M. fuliginosus present in greater pro- 
portion (K. Norris, Fisheries and Wild- 
life Division, Victoria, pers. comm.). 

Red-necked wallaby 
Macro pus rufogriseus 

A few of this species were seen 
during spotlighting near the camp, 
along Mt Zero Road north of Halls 
Gap, and in the Victoria Valley. Five 
animals were also reported as daylight 
sightings, and two skulls were col- 

Tn 1968 the author observed red- 
necked wallabies in the camp area, 
along the Grampians Road, at Silver- 
band Falls and at Watgania Gap. The 
species appears to be widespread in 
The Grampians. 

Specimens: 5657, 5659. 

Chocolate bat, Chalinolobus morio 

A mist net set partly over the water 
of a dam and partly among trees 
trapped an individual of this species 
close to the surface of the water. 
Specimen: 5656. 

Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus 

Moderate numbers of rabbits were 
seen in cleared paddocks, near the 
camp. No specimens were collected. 

Black rat, Rattus rattus 

Only three animals were trapped, 
all in widely separated localities. Two 
were taken in very rocky terrain, and 
from later observations by the author 
and others (K. Norris, pers. comm.) it 
appears that R. rattus has successfully 
occupied many of the rocky areas in 
The Grampians. All animals trapped 

were adult, two were males and the 
sex of the third was not determined. 
Specimens: 5637, 5644. 

Swamp rat, Rattus lutreolus 

Swamp rats were captured in most 
areas where traps were set, although 
not in large numbers. Most were taken 
near creeks or swampy areas in dense 
vegetation — bracken, waterfern or 
wiregrass with teatree or paperbark 
shrub cover. In 1968 one swamp rat 
was captured in the kitchen garden of 
the farm-house near the camp. All 
animals examined were adult. Of 13 
animals, 8 were males and 5 were 
females. There were no obvious ex- 
ternal signs of recent breeding. 

Specimens: 5640, 5645, 5647. 

Heath rat, Pseudomys shortridgei 

Most specimens were caught in 
heath-woodland along Fanthams Peak 
Road, on the grid set out by M. 
Stanley. A total of 13 animals were 
caught at this location and were 

The sex ratio was about 1:1. Eight 
animals, mostly males, were recap- 
tured during the trapping period. One 
animal was recaptured twice in one 
day. Most animals were adult or 

Heath rat, Pseudomys shortridgei. 
Photo by J.H.Seebeck. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

nearly so, but at least three were 

A further specimen was caught on 
the Pomonal South Road about 1 km 
south of the grid and two others were 
taken some 11 km south near the 
junction of Mitchell Road and Moy- 
ston Road. 

In 1968 the author obtained two 
specimens from heath-woodland south 
of Redmans Road, 6 km south-west 
of the camp but although this site was 
re-trapped during the present survey, 
no animals were captured. 

Specimens: 5638, 5649. 

House mouse, Mus musculus 

Four of the animals trapped were 
taken along a creek running through 
open farmland south of the camp. 
Rattus lutreolus was also present at 
this site. The remaining animal was 
collected on the perimeter of a pad- 
dock near the camp. 
Specimens: 5648, 5650, 5654. 

Water rat, Hydromys chrysogaster 

No specimens were encountered 
during the survey. However, A. E. 
Howard, a member of the Group, has 
seen and photographed the species in 
Lake Fyans, and in March 1968 the 
author trapped an adult male on a 
creek bank adjoining Mitchells Road 
about 1 km south of Redmans Road. 
In April 1968, specimens were col- 
lected at Silverband Falls (south-west 
of Halls Gap) and in a creek 2 km 
east of Grampians Road along Red- 
mans Road. In February 1969 a fur- 
ther specimen was taken in Fyans 
Creek at Borough Huts. It therefore 
appears that the species is present in 
many waterways in The Grampians 
but the population density is low. 

Specimens: R3398, R3431, R3432, 

Fox, Vulpes vulpes 

Apparently foxes are present in low 

July 7 August 

density in the forest and farmland. 
One was seen near camp in daylight, 
one was spotlighted in the northern 
Victoria Valley and two skulls were 
retrieved from the carcasses of shot 

Specimens: 5662, 5664. 


The Grampians have long been 
known for the diversity and the un- 
usual character of their flora, and are 
shown by the results of this survey to 
support a wide range of mammal 

Three dasyurids, all species of Ante- 
chinus, were encountered. Antechinus 
stuartii was restricted to the dry 
forest in the southern and western 
parts of the study area, particularly 
along creeks, while A. flavipes was 
found only in the heath and heath- 
woodland. A. swainsonii was found in 
heath-woodland and also in stream- 
side vegetation. From our observations 
there does appear to be a general 
separation of A. stuartii and A. flavipes 
on habitat selection, but Wakefield & 
Warneke (1967) reported sympatry 
between A. stuartii and A. flavipes at 
Glenlofty in The Pyrenees (about 50 
km to the east of The Grampians) 
where the habitat is dry sclerophyll 
forest and woodland. 

Isoodon obesulus, the only perame- 
lid recorded from The Grampians, 
was taken only in areas of sandy soil. 
I. McCann of Stawell (pers. comm.) 
reported that the numbers of /. obesu- 
lus in the Pomonal district seem to 

Table 4. Trapping success 
in different vegetation formations. 

Number of 
Vegetation of animals Success 

Formation trapnights caught % 





Dry sclerophyll 










have increased since myxomatosis was 
introduced in the early 1950s and the 
consequent reduction in rabbit num- 
bers. This may have been because of 
reduced disturbance of the soil allow- 
ing more availability oi' i'ood Cor the 
bandicoots, or just the removal of 
physical conflict between the two 

This survey indicates that the koala 
population is low in the eastern loot- 
hills. It is possible that these animals 
are descendants of those released at 
Malls (jap in 1957, when 611 animals 
were transferred from French Island 
(Fisheries and Wildlife Division re- 
cords). However, koalas were rare and 
restricted to uninhabited regions oi* 
The Grampians (Audas 1925), so it is 
possible that the present population 
levels in the Pomonal district are 
similar to those existing before the re- 
introduction programme commenced. 

Only four species of possums (repre- 
senting three families) were recorded 
during the survey and their numbers 
were low. This is in accord with previ- 
ous and subsequent experience that 
most oi' the stringybark forest in The 
Grampians generally supports only 
Sparse possum populations (K. Norris, 
pers. comm.). Most oi' the ring-tailed 
possums were seen in the heath- 
woodland area but they occur in the 
dry foothill forest and in the remnants 
oi' roadside woodland near Pomonal 

Wakefield (1963) reported the pre- 
sence oi' Potorous in an I lolocene sub- 
fossil assemblage from the northern 
end oi' the Victoria Range, some 40 
km to the west, but the Pomonal area 
is the only part oi' The Grampians 
where potoroos have been collected 
recently, Pomonal now supports the 
only known inland population oi' this 
species in Victoria, all other popula- 
tions being coastal (Portland district, 
Otway Ranges, French Island and 
Mast Gippsland). 

The difficulties of determining the 
species oi' grey kangaroos recorded has 
already been mentioned. The other 
large macropod present in the sur- 
veyed area. Macro pus rufogriseus, 
was found to be widespread and com- 
mon in The Grampians. 

Although only one bat species was 
identified, it is very likely that a 
number oi' other species are present. 

Ran us lutreolus was found to be 
widespread and common, but Pseu- 
domys short rid^ci was much less wide- 
spread, and was restricted to heath- 
woodland. P. short ridgei has been 
found only in The Grampians and in 
the Portland-Nelson-Casterton area, 
although it was originally found in 
Western Australia (Thomas 1906) 
where it is now apparently extinct. It 
is of interest that Rattus fuscipes, the 
most abundant native mammal in 
Victoria is not found in The Gram- 
pians. Wakefield (1963) reported 
I lolocene sub-fossils of R. fuscipes 
greyi at two sites in The Grampians 
but this is the only indication that the 
species may have once occurred there. 

The heath - woodland vegetation 
formation appeared to suppport the 
greatest variety of species (Table 2) 
and also had the greatest numbers of 
animals present, as shown by the 
trapping successes (Table 4). At 
heath-woodland sites trapping success 
was nearly twice that of dry sclero- 
phyll forest and scrub. In addition, 
several species were collected only in 
heath-woodland Antcchinus flavipes, 
Isoodon obesulus, Potorous apicalis 
and Pseudomys shortridgeL These last 
two species have a restricted distribu- 
tion in Victoria (as outlined earlier) 
and the populations in the Pomonal 
area are oi' importance in their State- 
wide conservation. 

In view oi' this, it is regrettable that 
a large part of the heath-woodland in 
the surveyed area was and still is free- 
hold land, potentially subject to drastic 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

habitat alteration at any time. This. 
vegetation formation, developed on 
the Mt Casse] sub-unit of The Gram- 
pians Plains land-system is very re- 
stricted and mostly cleared (Sibley 
1967). The diversity of the mammal 
fauna present within it, as reported 
here, adds weight to the consideration 
that the conservation oi' its remaining 
natural sections is urgent. 

A ck n ( > w I e (I gements 

The data presented in the paper is 
largely the result of the work of the 
following members and helpers of the 
Mammal Survey Group J. Barnett, (J. 
Baulch, L. Baulch, C. Crouch, J. Forse, 
J. Hampton. N. Hampton, A Howard. 
J. Howard. H. Homan, P. Homan, H. 
Janssen, S. Janssen, II. King. R, King. 
E. I.awson. R. I.awson, L. Marshall. D. 
Munro, L. Munro, I). Reeves, .1. Seebeck 
and M. Stanley. The Group wishes to 
aeknowledge the generosity and help of 
Mr P. Van Every for providing a camp- 
site and other facilities. 1. R. McCann 
and K. C. Norn's provided valuable un- 
published information. I). Hvans. .J. 
Hampton and R. Warneke read the 

manuscript and gave valuable comment. 
Field assistance in 1968 was given by 
R. S. I umman. Mrs VV. I omlinson pre- 
pared the figures. Protected species of 
mammals were handled under the pro- 
visions o( a permit issued by the 
Fisheries and Wildlife Division. Equip- 
ment used in the surveys was obtained 
from a grant made b\ the M. A. Ingram 


Audas, J. W. (1925) "One o( Nature's 

Wonderlands. The Victorian Grampians." 
(Ramsey: Melbourne). 
Sibley, (i. T. (1967). A study of the Land 

in The Grampians area. Soil Conservation 
Authority, Victoria. 

Spencer-Jones, I). (1965). The Geology & 

Structure of The Grampians area, Western 

Victoria. Memoir (ieol. Sui\e\ Viet. No. 
25 (Govt. Printer, Melbourne). 
Thomas, (). (1906). list of further collec- 
tions of Mammals from Western Aus- 
tralia, including a series from Berm'er 
Island. Proc. Zoo/. SoC. London, lWhr 

Wakefield, N. A. (1963). Mammal remains 

from The Grampians, Victoria. Victorian 

Nut. 80: 130-133. 
Wakefield, N. A., and Warneke, R. M. 

(1%7). Some revision in Antechinus 

(Marsupialia) Victorian Nat. 84: 69-99. 

Feral Cats in the Western District 

Recently there was an account in the 
Melbourne "Herald" of a cat "as big as 
a fox" that had killed several sheep near 
Geelong. It encourages me to report the 
following incident which occurred three 
years ago, off Wild Dog Road near 
Apollo Bay. 

Just before sunset I left camp and wan- 
dered along a track on the chance of 
getting a rabbit, although the surround- 
ings were mostly scrub and forest. But 
the track opened on a clearing and there 
was my rabbit. As I raised the rifle, some- 
thing else caught my eye. A little to the 
left of the rabbit was a huge tabby cat, 
perched on its hindquarters and ga/ing 
straight at me. It was as big as a full- 
grown Alsatian dog, with a round face 
and a particularly thick neck, but in other 
respects just an ordinary cat. 

Realising that few would credit my 
report without evidence, I transferred my 
aim to the cat, fired and missed. The 

beast merely turned its head to look at 
where the bullet had struck. 

My brother was some distance behind 
me and I shouted excitedly to him to 
come quickly. This sent the cat bounding 
off. With typical cat-like lope it moved 
into the surrounding bracken. My brother 
was in time only to see a dark shape 
disappearing in the bush and asked if it 
were a wallaby. At least he was close as 
to size, and the movement of a wallaby 
through scrub with head down would not 
be so dissimilar. 

There is little doubt in my mind that 
some feral cats have grown to giant pro- 
portions and possibly could account for 
the occasional sighting of "panthers". 
Incidentally, this cat would have had no 
trouble in bringing down a healthy sheep 
or even bigger game. 

Perhaps other members have a similar 
story to tell? 

Coi in Douglas, (ii in Waveri i ^ 



Water in Lake Eyre 


While travelling in South Australia 
in July and August 1975, a visit was 
made to Lake Eyre which then con- 
tained water. It is the second time this 
century that Lake Eyre has filled. 

Conditions in past ages 

The history of Lake Eyre may be 
traced from Cretaceous times when 
Central Australia contained an exten- 
sive sea. 

This was followed by a period of 
great lakes when rainfall was high and 
water probably covered many thous- 
ands of square miles to depths of some 
hundreds of feet. The warmer, moist 
climate produced luxurious vegeta- 
tion, such as gave rise to the Leigh 
Creek coalfields. Fossil discoveries at 
Lake Callabonna and similar areas 
give evidence of the presence of large 
herbivorous marsupials. 

By the time man appeared in Aus- 
tralia the climate was arid and the 
inland lakes were drying out. 

The first explorers suspected that 
there might be a great sea in the in- 
terior of the continent. E. J. Eyre, 
after whom the lake was named, found 
water in an arm of Lake Eyre South 
in 1840, but he did not go on to find 
Lake Eyre North. 

In the present century there have 
been several scientific explorations; all 
those prior to 1949 found the lake to 
be a dry salt pan, and it was generally 
believed, at least until the early 1930's 
that the lake could never fill. 

Most arid region in Australia 

The present Lake Eyre has a total 
area of 8,000 km 2 (3,000 sq miles) and 
is a drainage basin for approximately 

1,300,000 km 2 (500,000 sq miles) of in- 
land Australia, a region about eight 
times the size of Victoria. Much of the 
catchment has a very low rainfall and 
in normal years the drainage from 
south-eastern Queensland into the 
Warburton and Coopers Creek is dis- 
sipated before reaching the lake. The 
Lake Eyre region itself is the most 
arid in Australia, having an annual 
fall of less than 127 mm (5 inches), 
whereas the evaporation rate is 2.54 
metres (100 inches) per year. 

The lake bed is gently tilted from 
north to south, falling approximately 
4 metres in 120 km from the northern 
shoreline to the lowest area in Madi- 
gan Gulf in the south-east, which was 
calculated in 1972 as 6.35 metres be- 
low sea level (Roma Dulhunty, 1975). 

Records of water in Lake Eyre 

A study of early rainfall records 
suggests that there would have been 
considerable water in the lake in 1890- 
91, but the first filling to be observed 
since white settlement was in the 
period 1949-52 and is well documented 
(Bonython and Mason 1953; Bonython 
1955 and 1960; Mason 1955). The peak 
of this flood was between September 
1950 and August 1951, when water in 
Lake Eyre North reached a depth of 

3.6 metres (12 feet); this was not deep 
enough to cause it to flow down the 
Goyder Channel to Lake Eyre South. 

The present flood reached a peak in 
May 1974, when a maximum depth of 

5.7 metres was recorded in the 
southern part of Madigan Gulf and 
3.6 metres along the shoreline (R. Dul- 
hunty). This was sufficient to allow 
water to flow into Lake Eyre South. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

At the time of the visit in August 
1975, 15 months after peak height, 
there was still considerable water in 
both parts of the lake, with a depth of 
two metres along the southern shore. 

Early in 1976 further heavy rain fell 
over the lake and its catchments. A 
newspaper report on 23 April 1976 
stated that the lake was filling again 
and was only one metre below the 
record level of 1974. 

Some evidence of floods in the re- 
cent past has been obtained from the 
study of the shingle terraces round 
the southern parts of the Lake (J. A. 
Dulhunty 1975). These terraces are 
formed from deposits of gravel washed 
up round the shore by wave action. 
Measurements suggest that there have 
been three prehistoric fillings of the 
lake which exceeded the 1974 level. 
These were 2.8 metres above 1974 
approx 3,000 years ago; 1.6 metres 
above 1974 1,500 years ago, and .7 
metres above 1974 500 years ago. 

| Elliot Price Wilderness National Park. 

On the way to Lake Eyre 

A road to Lake Lyre North goes 
from Marree through Muloorina Sta- 
tion to the northern end of Lake Eyre 
South and follows the Goyder Channel 
to the southern shore o\' Lake Eyre 
North. (See map.) 

The Muloorina lease was taken up 
by the late Elliot Price in 1936. His 
grave and memorial may be seen at 
the approach to the homestead. The 
property is now run by his family, and 
their cluster of houses and outbuild- 
ings form almost a village near the 
lagoon on The Frome. In 1963-64 the 
property was used as a base by the 
late Donald Campbell when he suc- 
cessfully broke the land speed record 
for a wheel driven vehicle on the dry 
bed of the lake. During this time, up 
to 200 people were housed or camped 
at the homestead. 

Some birds of the area 

The Frome Lagoon was excavated 
by Elliot Price and the water supple- 
mented from a bore. This delightful 
oasis attracts large numbers of birds. 

Numerous Black (Fork-tailed) Kites 
were seen roosting in the trees as well 
as circling overhead. These birds are a 
Familiar sight in inland Australia; they 
feed on carrion and refuse, and large 
flocks congregate around homesteads, 
killing yards and rubbish dumps. Both 
the Australian Raven and the Little 
Crow were observed near Muloorina; 
the presence of the latter was con- 
firmed by examination of a dead bird. 

The water and associated growth 
provided a suitable environment for 
Reed Warblers, Welcome Swallows, 
Willie Wagtails and Magpie Larks 
which were all seen near the lagoon. 
A pair of Ground Cuckoo-shrikes 
were also seen among the scattered 
Acacias not far from the lagoon. 

Beyond Muloorina the track crosses 
gibber plains and here the Gibber 
Bird and Australian Dotterel were 

July 7 August 


seen. As a result of local rain there 
were extensive areas of shallow pools, 
and Black-tailed Native Hens were 
present whenever Cane Grass (Era- 
grostis australasica) or small shrubs 
provided cover. A Black-breasted Buz- 
zard was seen circling overhead in this 

Approaching Lake Eyre the gibber 
plain gives way to low sand-hills 
sparsely covered with small shrubs. 
Orange Chats were plentiful and easily 
observed perched on the tops of 
bushes. The White-winged Wren was 
also here, but was more elusive and 
only a few males in breeding plumage 
were seen. 

Enormous flocks of tiny flies were 
encountered in the vicinity of the lake; 
they were of the size and appearance 
of mosquitoes and sounded like them 
but did not bite. Great clouds of them 
seen from a distance appeared like an 
approaching "willie-willie". Eric Bony- 
thon (1971) also observed them in 
1950 and we found it necessary, as he 
did, to withdraw about 8 km from the 
water's edge before making camp. 

It was not possible to walk to the 
water's edge of Lake Eyre South due 
to the large expanse of soft mud left 
by the receding water. However, good 
views were obtained of the birds 
crowding the margins. The most plenti- 
ful was the Avocet in flocks of several 
hundred, as well as large numbers of 
Pelicans, Black Cormorants, Seagulls 
and a few Black-winged Stilts. 

The shore-line of both lakes was 
littered with dead fish, identified at 
Muloorina as Bony Perch. Apparently 
these breed in Coopers Creek and are 
carried down by flood waters to die in 
the saline lake water. Their presence 
in large numbers suggests that they 
may provide food for the Pelicans and 

In Goyder Channel there were large 
Hocks of Pink-eared Duck, Grey Teal 
and White-eyed Duck, as well as Peli- 


cans and Hoary-headed Grebes. The 
road built across the channel to pro- 
vide access to the lake for Donald 
Campbell's speed trials has been sub- 
merged by the flood waters. This road 
also enabled the Price family to make 
use of the western portion of their 
lease, but since the filling of the lakes 
and channel they have had to make a 
long detour round Lake Eyre South to 
reach this part of the property. 

Lake Eyre North on 10th August 
1975, although about two metres be- 
low the maximum level of May 1974, 
was still a magnificent stretch of 
seemingly endless water, with a sloping 
beach of clean white sand. It was a 
clear sunny day with a light breeze 
and rather hard to realise that these 
surroundings, so like the sea-side, were 
in fact some 700 km from the coast 
and below sea level. 

Pelicans, Cormorants and Whiskered 
Terns were seen in this area but con- 
ditions were apparently not suitable 
for ducks or waders. 

The bird list (Appendix 1) is of 
species seen between Muloorina home- 
stead and the lake and is obviously not 

Desert plants 

Among the scattered shrubs close to 
the water's edge Scaevola collaris 
(Fan-flower) was blooming well, and 
little piles of fruits were found blown 
together into depressions in the sand. 
The innermost covering of the seed is 
extremely hard and well-adapted for 
survival in arid conditions. 

A triplex spongiosa (Pop Saltbush) 
was a conspicuous shrub at the margin 
of Lake Eyre South. The large, 
rounded, bright green bushes were up 
to 1 metre high and 1J metres across. 
When young, the spherical fruits are 
like little balls of pale green foam 
plastic about 1 cm in diameter. 

A small collection of plants found in 
flower close to the lake was made and 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

is listed below (Appendix 2). It would 
appear that there had been a flush o\' 
flower some weeks earlier; some 
species were in fruit but not many 
annual or ephemeral plants were seen. 
No attempt was made to identify or 
collect species not in flower. 

The making of lists was incidental 
to the main aim of the trip which was 
to experience and enjoy the rare 
spectacle of Lake Eyre under water. 

Appendix 1 

Birds observed on Muloorina Station and 
on and around Lake Eyre, 9-10 Aug. 1975. 
Common names according to 'A Field 
Guide to Australian Birds', Peter Slater. 

Emu, Hoary-headed Grebe, Pelican, 
Black Cormorant, White-faced Heron, 
Black Swan, Grey Teal, Pink-eared Duck, 
White-eyed Duck, Black-shouldered Kite, 
Black Kite, Square-tailed Kite, 
Black-breasted Buzzard, Spotted Harrier, 
Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel, 
Black-tailed Native Hen, Australian 
Dotterel, Black-winged Stilt, Red-necked 
Avocet, Silver Gull, Whiskered Tern, 
Crested Pigeon, Galah, Welcome Swallow, 
Pipit, Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Willie 
Wagtail, Reed Warbler, Brown Songlark, 
White-winged Wren, Orange Chat, 
Gibber Bird, Zebra Fineh, Magpie-lark, 
Black-backed Magpie, Australian Raven, 
Little Crow. 

Appendix 2 

Plants seen in flower within half a kilo- 
metre of shore of Lake Eyre. 
Eragrostis dielsii (Mulka Grass). 
Muehlenbeckia coccoloboides. 
A triplex spongiosa (Pop Saltbush). 
Salsola kali (Prickly Saltwort). 
Swainsona stipularis, 
Nitraria schoberi (Nitre Bush). 
Lawrencia glomerata (Salt Lawrencia). 
Frank cuia sp. (Sea-heath). 
Trichodesma zeylanicum (Cattle Bush). 
Morgania glabra (Blue-top). 
Scaevola collaris (Fan-flower). 
Brachycome sp. 


Bonylhon, C. W. (1955) — In "Lake Eyre, 
South Australia. The Great Flooding of 
1949-1950". The Report of the Lake Eyre 
Committee. R. Geogr. Soc. of Aust. (S.A. 
/{ranch), pp. 27-36, (Griffin Press Adelaide.) 

Bqnython, C. W. (I960)- A decade of watch- 
ing for water in Lake Eyre. Proc. R. Geogr. 
Soc. Aust. (S.A. Branch) 61: pp. 1-8. 

Bonylhon, C. W., and Mason, B. (1953)- 
filling and drying of Lake Eyre. Geogr. J. 
119(3): pp. 321-330. 

Bonython, Eric (1971) — Where the Seasons 
Come and Go. (Hawthorn Press, Melb.) 

Dulhunty, J. A. (1975) — Shoreline shingle 
terraces and prehistoric filling of Lake Eyre. 
Trans. R. Soc. S.A. 99 (4): pp. 1 83- 188 

Dulhunty, Roma (1975) — The Spell of Lake 
Eyre. (Lowden Publishing Co., Kilmore, 

Mason, B. (1955) — In "Lake Eyre, South 
Australia, The Great Flooding of 1949- 
1950". The Report of the Lake Eyre Com- 
mittee. R. Geogr. Soc. of Aust. (S.A. 
Branch), pp. 1 1-26. (Griffin Press, Adelaide). 

Frankenia sp. (Sea-heath). 

Natural History at the Coast 

Kitty has one article in hand for our 
special coast issue in December; it deals 
with channels in shore platforms. And 
there are some promises, most of them 
unspecified but they include a short ele- 
mentary item on Galeolaria, a more 
erudite one on organisms associated with 
Galeolaria, and another substantial article 

on tides. 

We hope to receive material on geo- 
logy, birds, land plants and seaweeds, 
mammals, insects and other invertebrates. 
There are so many things at the coast to 
interest naturalists. 

Material for this coast issue should be 
with the editor by 30 September. 


How to know West Australian Wildflowers, Part IV by W. E. Blackall and B. J. Green. 
Price $21 .00, discount to members; postage variable — $1 .00 or more, due to distance. 



Observations of the Rainbow Bird Mirops ornatus 
in the Warby Ranges 

September 1975 -March 1976 

by I. C. Morris* 

The area under observation was in a 
small clearing (about three acres) 
among dry eucalypt woodland in the 
Warby Ranges, south of Wangaratta. 
Nesting burrows of the Rainbow Birds 
were on sparsely vegetated slopes of 
granite gravel soil. 

Arrival of birds 

A few birds were first seen on 25 
September, having migrated south 
from wintering in Northern Australia, 
New Guinea, Philippines, etc. Each 
day the numbers increased until ap- 
proximately 50 birds could be seen at 
one time, usually in small flocks of 
8-14 birds. They constantly called their 
characteristic "churr" as they circled 
around the tree tops or landed on high 
dead twigs. 

Preparation of nests 

About two weeks after arrival there 
were signs of some birds pairing off 
and they would land on the ground 
and start digging for brief periods but 
then appeared to abandon the attempt. 

Male Rainbow Bird on observation twig. 

Four to five weeks of excessively 
wet weather followed (10" rain in 
October) and birds could only be seen 
occasionally, keeping to the timber, 
and all digging ceased. 

By the 10th November the weather 
was fine and warm and the ground was 
beginning to dry out. The birds then 
became very active in the clearing; 
flying in pairs, chasing off a third bird, 
engaging in courtship, feeding, eating 
gravel-particles on paths, and scratch- 
ing preliminary shallow holes in the 
ground. 1 noticed at this stage that 
their colouring was most beautiful and 
much more vivid than in September. 
Although considerably reduced in 
numbers in the past six weeks, 15 
pairs were seen commencing to dig 
their nesting tunnels or burrows in a 
small area near my cottage. 

Digging appeared to be done mainly 
by the female (distinguished by shorter 
pin feathers on end of tail). She would 
dig with her strong thick beak and then 
scratch a shower of dirt out behind 
with her feet. The male would do a 
short stint of digging occasionally, but 
mainly he would sit on an "observa- 
tion twig" nearby. 

Observation twig 

This observation twig, as I called it, 
was usually 2-4 metres from the en- 
trance of the nesting burrow and 
seemed to be an important adjunct to 
the nest. It varied from a dead twig 
30 cms high to an open twig on a tree 
five metres high. 

*South Wangaratta Roadside. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

It appeared to be used for the 

1. For the male to keep watch while 
the female was digging or sitting. 

2. For defending the pair's territory 
against other Rainbow Birds. 

3. To alight on and look around be- 
fore entering nest. 

4. To alight on before taking food 
to the young in the nest. 

5. As a base for catching food on 
the wing. 

6. For communication. The birds 
had a series of calls given while 
perched on this twig, such as a warn- 
ing call when a predator like a falcon 
was in the vicinity, a soft call "tookie 
tookie" before entering the nest, and 
a loud call "deep deep" when calling 
young birds, etc. 

Sitting period 

The sitting period commenced ap- 
proximately 26th November. The 
female did most of the sitting, up to 
two hours at a time, but the male 
would enter the nest for 5-10 minutes 
on occasions. When the female was 
sitting, the male kept constant watch 
on the observation twig, even on the 
hottest days when he showed signs of 
distress with gaping beak. He left only 
briefly to catch food on the wing, such 
as moths, butterflies, small grass- 
hoppers, dragonflies. 

Due to the sloping nature of the 
tunnel, and the nesting chamber being 
approximately 30 cms deep, it was not 
possible to see the birds sitting or the 
number of eggs, even with the use of 
mirrors and torches. 

As T did not take daily observation 
notes I cannot say accurately how long 
the incubation stage lasted but it was 
probably three weeks. 

Feeding young 

Feeding the young was first observed 
on 18th December, and it was shared 
by male and female. At first very 

small insects - flies and tiny moths 
were taken into the young, but after 
two weeks they were given larger in- 
sects such as dragonflies, grasshoppers, 
butterflies, beetles; only once I saw 
bees taken to the young although 
there was a beehive nearby. At one 
nest 1 observed multiple feeding (see 

Young birds remained in the nest 
for approximately four weeks, and 
were fed with increasing frequency as 
they got older. For the last few days 
before emerging they came close to 
the entrance of the burrow; the adult 
birds would carry food to the entrance, 
but not enter. I was able to see young 
birds near the entrance with the aid of 
a mirror. 

Leaving the nest 

When the young birds left the nest, 
commencing 13th January, several 
adult birds would be seen excitedly 
and noisily flying round the entrance 
giving the "deep deep" call. Near 
sunset (2030 hours D.S.T.) five to six 
adult birds would take part in an- 
other noisy excited melee, as they 
helped to drive the young back into 
the nest for the night. This usually 
happened for three evenings, though 
the third time was rarely successful, 
and the young and adult birds finally 
would fly off into nearby tall timber 
and were not seen near the nest again. 

T am not sure how many young birds 
were in each nest, as the times taken 
to emerge and re-enter nest were brief 
(1-3 minutes) and I was not often on 
the spot when it happened. However, 
I was able to count three young from 
Nest 1, three from Nest 3 and one 
from Nest 4. I could have missed 
some, of course, due to the excited 
circling and swooping of the adult 

The young birds appeared to be three- 
quarter size when they emerged and 
their colours were dull and lacked the 



black band on the neck. Their tails 
were short and broad and without the 
two long pin feathers at the end. 

Once the young had left the nest all 
birds kept to the forest area and could 
be seen or heard occasionally. About a 
fortnight before they left the locality 
for their northern migration, birds 
were seen in small flocks (8-20) cir- 
cling constantly around the nesting 
area. The last date the birds were seen 
by me was 14th March. 

Mutual help 

One of the most interesting parts of 
my observations was what I called 
"mutual help", such as: 

1. At one nest I saw constant mul- 
tiple feeding by 6-8 birds but, strangely 
enough, not at any other nest. 

2. If a goanna approached the nest 
site, five to eight birds would be seen 
swooping and diving noisily to drive it 
away, always successfully. 

3. Several adult birds (as mentioned 
previously) would gather around to 
assist in encouraging young birds to 
emerge from the nest and later to 
drive them back into the nest. I do 
not know whether these extra birds 
assisting the nesting pair were from 
nearby nests or whether they were un- 
attached birds living in nearby trees. 

Nesting burrow 

One nest was carefully excavated 
and measurements were taken: total 
length of burrow approximately 93 cm; 
deepest part approximately 30 cm from 
the surface. 

Two sections of nesting burrow: 

1. Tunnel: Length from entrance to 

Sketch of nesting burrow in gently sloping 
hillside of granite gravel soil. 

beginning of nesting chamber approx 
45 cm. Height approx 5 cm. Width 
approx 6.5 cm. 

2. Nesting chamber: Length from 
where tunnel widens to back wall 
approx 38 cm. Height approx 8 cm. 
Width approx 20 cm. 

The nesting chamber was large 
enough for two or three adult birds 
to enter at the same time while feed- 
ing the young, and to be able to turn 
around so that they emerge head first. 

It seems that no nesting material 
was used, but the nesting chamber 
was found to be more than half-full of 
blackish droppings and debris consist- 
ing of wings, heads and shells of 
beetles, dragonflies, etc., and a few 
fine shards of white egg shell. Most of 
this debris was pushed to the rear part 
of the nesting chamber, was up to 
5 cm deep and weighed a total of 1 
kilogram. There were many small 
scavengers present including very fine 
white threadworms, maggots, pale grey 
flies and pale fawn-coloured centipede- 
like creatures. 

Observations made during one sea- 
son can give only a general picture, 
and this newcomer to the district will 
be checking that picture in following 

Back issues of Natural History Journals for Sale 

A reader has hundreds of journals which he would prefer to sell to naturalists rather 
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Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

A visit to Doughboy Island, Furneaux Group 


Flinders and Cape Barren Islands 
are the largest islands of the Furneaux 
Group in south-eastern Bass Strait. 
They are separated by Franklin Sound 
and Doughboy Island is in the western 
part of this Sound; see map. 

Doughboy Island is well-named as it 
slopes to the sea on all sides from its 
central rise which is about 20 metres 
high. The island has not been surveyed 
but is about 8 hectares in area. It is a 
granite island and the coast is granite 
except at the eastern point where 
there are two small sand beaches and 
a consolidated dune. 

A few sheep are grazed on the 
island which is leased from the Tas- 
manian Lands Department. My visit, 
which lasted an hour, was on 5 
November 1969. 

Eastern point 

I landed at the tip of the eastern 
point. Hairy Spinifex Spinifex hirsu- 
tus, Jersey Cudweed Gnaphalium 
luteo-album and Coast Fescue Festuca 
littoralis grew on the coastal sand 


Isabella Reef g> 





here. Nearby were a few clumps of 
the introduced African Boxthorn 
*Lycium ferocissimum. In sandy soil 
just in from the coast were Knobby 
Club-rush Scirpus nodosus, Bidgee- 
widgee Acaena anserinifolia, Kidney- 
weed Dichondra re pens and Austral 
Carrot Daucus glochidiatus. 

Most of the eastern slope of the 
island could be seen from this point. 
Blue Tussock-grass Poa poijormis, 
Pale Rush J uncus pallidus and Austral 
Bracken Pteridium esculent um were 
the dominant species on the slope. 
The Blue Tussock-grass was the most 
abundant species. No shrubs could be 
seen and it seemed that the vegetation 
was very simple. As I moved up the 
slope this impression soon proved 
false, as there were many herbs grow- 
ing amongst the dominant species. 
The native grasses found were Long- 
hair Plume-grass Dichelachne crinita 
and a Wallaby-grass Danthonia race- 
mosa. The introduced grasses were 
Giant Brome *Bromus diandrus, Soft 
Brome *Bromus mollis, Silvery Hair- 
grass *Aira caryophyllea, Annual 
Cat's - tail *Koeleria phleoides, 
Squirrel-tail Fescue *Vulpia bro- 
moides, Rat's-tail Fescue *Vulpia 
myuros and Fox-tail Fescue *Vulpia 
megalura. The other native herbs 
were the Common Onion-orchid 
Microtis unifolia, Yellow Wood- 
sorrel Oxalis corniculata, Leek Lily 
Bulbine semibarbata and Karkalla 
Carpobrotus rossii. The other intro- 
duced herbs were Suckling Clover 
*Trifolium dubium, Sheep Sorrel 
*Rumex acetosella, Four-leaf Allseed 
*Polycarpon tetraphyllum, Cat's-ear 

t Flinders Island, Tasmania, 7253. 



*Hypochoeris radicata, Centaury 
*Centaurium pulchellum and Mouse- 
ear Chickweed *Cerastium fontanum 
ssp. triviale. 

There were some low granite out- 
crops on the slope and small herbs 
grew in the shallow soil at their mar- 
gins. Sieber Crassula Crassula sieber- 
ana, Hairy Centrolepis Centrolepis 
strigosa and Toad Rush Juncus bu- 
fonius were found there. 

Altogether twenty-five plant species 
were found on the slope. The photo- 
graph shows part of the slope. 

North-eastern coast 

This walk of about 150 metres 
brought me to the north-eastern coast 
about 25 metres from the eastern 
point. Here, on a small point, were a 
few tussocks of Prickly Spear-grass 
Stipa teretifolia. There were some 
Slender Thistles *Carduus tenuiflorus 
near them and not far away was some 
Seaberry Saltbush Rhagodia baccata 
in a coastal granite crevice. This was 
the only native shrub noticed during 
my visit. 

South-eastern coast 

Next I walked to the south-eastern 
coast about 25 metres from the 
eastern point. Some herbs grew here 
in the sandy soil between the clumps 
of Blue Tussock-grass. The introduced 
species were Stiff Rye-grass *Lolium 
loliaceum, Fern Grass *Catapodium 
rigidum, Coast Barb-grass *Parapholis 
incurva, Drooping-flower Clover *Tri- 
folium cernuwn and Purple Cudweed 
*Gnaphalium purpureum. The native 
species were Variable Plantain Plan- 
tago varia, Yellow Wood-sorrel 
Oxalis corniculata, Leek Lily Bulbine 
semi bar bat a and Sea Pearlwort Sagina 
maritima. Just to the south-west was 
some White Cudweed *Gnaphalium 

About 10 metres further to the 
south-west, the sandy shore gave way 
to a steep granite slope with ledges 
carrying shallow soil. Some of the 
herbs in this soil were Pink Purslane 
Calandrinia calyptrata, Sea Pearlwort 
Sagina maritima, Chickweed *Stellaria 
media, Black-anther Flax-lily Dianella 
revoluta and a Pennywort Hydrocotyle 

0^mMm m . 


Doughboy Island: eastern slope and point. Blue Tussock-grass is in the foreground. 

Photo: author 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

sp. The bright orange lichen Telo- 
schistes spinosus (Hook, f, & Tayl.) 
J. Murray was collected from coastal 
granite below this spot. 

Lichens at eastern point 

Thence I returned to the eastern 
point and collected lichens from 
granite outcrops at and just out from 
the tip. The specimens included two 
collections of the orange and yellow 
Xanthoria ectanea (Ach.) Ras. ex 
R. Filson. All the lichens have been 
lodged at the National Herbarium of 
Victoria (MEL1013734 -- 1013742). 
Only three of the nine collections 
could be determined. 

Altogether forty-eight plant species 
were recorded for the island and a 
list is given below (Appendix 1). 
Other species are likely to occur as 
only about an eighth of the island was 
examined. The twenty-two introduced 
species make up forty-six percent of 
the island's flora. Seventeen plant 
specimens were obtained and lodged 
at the National Herbarium of Vic- 
toria, Melbourne. 

All the Doughboy Island plants are 
widespread in the Furneaux Group 
where I have found them on many 
islands during the last eight years. 


The only birds noticed were Cape 
Barren Geese Ccreopsis novaehol- 
Iandiac. A pair rose from the upper 
part of the eastern slope and flew 
towards Neds Point on Cape Barren 
Island. Another pair, that did not 
rise, was seen near the middle of the 
north-eastern coast. 


Miss M. A. Todd determined the 
plant specimens lodged at the Her- 
barium and Mr. R. B. Filson deter- 
mined three of the lichen specimens 
lodged at the Herbarium. 


I isi of Doughboy Island Plants, 1969. 

An asterisk marks an introduced 
species. M indicates a specimen lodged 
at the National Herbarium o( Victoria. 


Pteridium esculentum (Forst. f.) Nakai 
(Austral Bracken) 


Gramineae (Poaceae) : 

Spinifex hirsutus Labill. (Hairy Spinifex) 

Festuca lit (oralis Labill. (Coast Fescue) 

*Catapodium rigidum (I..) ( . E. Hub- 
bard (Fern Grass) 

M*Vulpia bramoides (L.) S. F. Gray 
(Squirrel-tail Fescue) 

U*Vulpia myuras (I..) K. C. Gmel. 
(Rat's-tail Fescue) 

M*Vulpia megalura (Null.) Rydb. (Fox- 
tail Fescue) 

*Bramus diandrm Roth (Great Brome) 

*Bromus mollis L. (Soft Brome) 

M*Koeleria phleoides (Vill.) Pers. (An- 
nual Cat's-tail) 

M Poa poiformis (Labill.) Druce (Blue 
I ussock-grass) 

M Dichelachne crinita (L. f.) Hook. f. 
( Long-hair Plume-grass) 

Stipa teretifolia Steud. (Prickly Spear- 

*Aira caryophyllea L. (Silvery Hair- 

M Danthonia racemosa R. Br. (Wallaby- 

M.*Lolium loliaceum (Bory & Chaub.) 
Hand. -Ma//, (Stiff Rye-grass) 

M*Paraphalis incurva (L.) C. E. Hub- 
bard (Coast Barb-grass) 


Scirpus nadasus Rottb. (Knobby Club- 
rush ) 


Juncus pallidus R. Br. (Pale Rush) 

M Juncus bufonius L. (Toad Rush) 

Centrolepidaceae : 

M Centrolepis strigosa (R. Br.) Roem. 
& Schult. (Hairy Centrolepis) 


Dianella revoluta R. Br. (Black-anther 

Bulbine semibarbata (R. Br.) Haw 
(leek Lily) 

Orchidaceae : 

M Microtis unifolia (Forst. f . ) Reiehenb. 
f. (Comon Onion-orchid) 
f. (Common Onion-orchid) 



*Rumex acetosella sp. agg. (Sheep Sor- 
Rhagodia baccata (Labill.) Moq. (Sea- 



berry Saltbush) 


Carpobrotus rossii (Haw.) Schwantes 


M Calandrinia calyptrata Hook. f. (Pink 


*Stellaria media (L.) Cyrillo (Chick- 

*Cerastium fontanum Baumg. ssp. triviale 
(Link) Jalas (Mouse-ear Chickweed) 

M Sagina maritima G. Don (Sea Pearl- 

*Polycarpon tetraphyllum (L.) L. (Four- 
leaf Allseed) 

( lassulaceae: 

Crassula sieberana (Schult. & Schult. f.) 
Druce (Sieber Crassula) 


Acaena anserinifolia (Forst. & Forst. f.) 
Druce ( Bidgee-widgee) 

Papilionaceae (Fabaceae) : 

M*Trifolium cernuum Brot. (Drooping- 
flower Clover) 

M*Trifolium dubium Sibth. (Suckling 


Oxalis corniculata L. (Yellow Wood- 

Umbelliferae (Apiaceae) : 

Hydrocotyle sp. (Pennywort) 

Daucus glochidiatus (Labill.) Fish, et al. 
(Austral Carrot) 


M*Centaurium pulchellum (Swartz) 
Druce (Centaury) 


Dichondra repens Forst. & Forst. f. 


*Lycium jcrocissimum Miers (African 


Phmtago varia R. Br. (Variable Plantain) 

Compositae (Asteraceae) : 

Gnaphcdium luteo-cdbum L. (Jersey Cud- 

*Gnaphtdium candidissimum Lam. 
(White Cudweed) 

*Gnaphalium purpureum L. (Purple 

*Carduus tenuiflorus Curt. (Slender 

*Hypochoeris radicata L. (Cat's-ear) 

What do Swamphens feed on? 

On Sunday morning 27 June, an 
Eastern Swamphen was on the small 
water-lily lake in the Botanic Gardens. 
It was standing on the lily leaves and 
seemed to be pecking at something. I 
managed to get quite near, and then the 
bird picked up a large fish in its bill and 
dragged it across the leaves. The fish was 
pale grey, almost as long as the bird and 
10-15 cm across; a small piece was missing 
at the front end. 

The bird placed one foot on the fish, 
and I watched it for several minutes: 
peck, peck, and look up; peck, peck, and 
look up. It walked away from the fish, 
turning over leaves with its foot and peer- 
ing under them but did not seem to find 
anything edible. It looked around, saw 
a Moorhen poking the fish and returned 
at a rush. The Moorhen departed almost 
as rapidlv. 

When I returned three-quarters of an 

hour later, the Swamphen was in much 
the same place. And again it picked up 
the fish and carried it across the leaves 
— towards me. The fish was about two- 
thirds its previous size. The bird seemed 
to have difficulty in removing the flesh. 
One large foot grasped right round the 
fish at the narrow part towards the tail, 
and the bird had to tug to remove each 
bite so that the fish was pulled up and 
flopped back when the flesh came away. 

Is a Swamphen capable of catching and 
killing a 40-45 cm fish? (With those strong 
feet and heavy bill, killing would seem 
to be less of a problem than catching.) 
If the bird did not kill the fish, what did? 
And, if given the chance, does the 
Swamphen feed on carrion or at least on 
the recently dead? 

The books say that Eastern Swamphens 

feed on grass, aquatic plants and molluscs. 

M. J. Lester, South Yarra. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The Distribution of Australian Plants 

A request for information from Naturalists 

by A. C. Beauglehole* and R. F. Parsons** 

The available data on Victorian 
vascular plant distribution are based 
on National Herbarium of Victoria 
records as given in "The Distribution 
of Victorian Plants" by Churchill and 
de Corona and in the Handbook by 
J. H. Willis on the basis of 24 Major 
Grids. Much more work is needed be- 
fore Victorian plant distribution is 
well documented even at this scale. 
For example, one of us (A.C.B.) has 
recently compiled 4,452 new Major 
Grid records. Victorian botanists often 
find plant species in a Grid Square not 
listed in the above sources, but such 
occurrences are not systematically re- 
corded or drawn to the attention of 

We are emphatic that it is worth- 
while systematically recording such 
Major Grid additions, so that Churchill 
and de Corona's compilation can be up- 
dated, for the following reasons: 

1. Although broad-scale, the Major 
Grid records provide a valuable start- 
ing point for much ecological and 
taxonomic research. New records help 

A vl 




G ^ 

\ L 















k. K 





Major Grid used by botanists. Each 
rectangle is 1° latitude x 1.5° longitude. 

to indicate the occurrence of popula- 
tions which would otherwise not be 
sampled or taken into account. 

2. The Major Grid records are an 
essential first step in eventually pro- 
ducing an atlas of the Victorian flora. 

3. They can be used in conservation 
for quantifying percentage representa- 
tion of flora in reserves within any one 
Grid Square (see Churchill and de 

4. They are an essential first step in 
identifying and listing species endan- 
gered or threatened with extinction. 

Accordingly, individual record cards 
have been designed with the aim of 
letting botanists easily document in 
standardized form new Major Grid 
records both from their past work and 
in the future. To serve the above pur- 
poses, new Major Grid records must 
include full data on locality, etc., all 
to be held on permanent file and freely 
available. Whenever possible, it is most 
important that they be supported by 
voucher specimens, which are im- 
portant because: 

1. Identification can be checked or 
the specimen re-named if necessary in 
future revisionary studies. 

2. Existence of vouchers from every 
Major Grid Square helps ensure that 
variability within species is properly 
represented by the available specimens. 

For convenience, it is preferable 
that these vouchers be held by the 
National Herbarium of Victoria, as 
permanent documentation of occur- 
rence of a species in a Major Grid. 

*3 Beverley Street, Portland, 3305. 
** Botany Department, La Trobe University, 
Bundoora, 3083. 



We believe that such data on the 
distribution of Victorian plants are re- 
quired as a matter of urgency. The 
information obtained will be critically 
important in determining rational land 
use policies in the future and in de- 
ciding just which Victorian plant 
species are at present threatened with 

Anyone interested can obtain recorc 

cards for new Major Grid records by 
writing to Dr. R. F. Parsons, Botany 
Department, La Trobe University, 
Bundoora, Victoria 3083. 


Churchill, D. M., and de Corona, A. (1972). 

The Distribution of Victorian Plants. Royal 

Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. 
Willis, J. H. (1972). A Handbook to Plants 

in Victoria. Vol. II, Melbourne Univ. Press. 

Conservation of Genetic Resources of Indigenous Victorian Trees 

The Forests Commission of Victoria is 
seeking information on the location of 
trees which could be of scientific interest 
due to variant characteristics of genetic 
origin. If you know of any Victorian trees 
or groups of trees that seem different 
from normal, they are the ones the Com- 
mission wants to hear about. A detailed 
form is available at FNCV meetings or 
from the Commission and should be re- 

turned before the end of 1976. 

The Commission is undertaking re- 
search to determine whether any variant 
characteristic of a tree is due to genetic 
origin or merely to environmental fac- 
tors. The significance of genetic variation 
lies in the opportunity to grow trees of 
improved characteristics that will be 
better than trees of uncontrolled seed 

Bibliography of works by Baron von Mueller 

A bibliography of the works of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller (1825-1896) is being 
prepared by a team financed by the Commonwealth of Australia. We will be grateful 
for a list of any publications or other writings by him that may still exist in private 
hands. For further information please ring or write to the National Herbarium, 
Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra 3141; 'phone 63 7030. 

D. M. Churchill, Director. 

Young Little Grebes practise flying 

Although there have been a number of 
comings and goings of Little Grebes to 
and from my dam in the last two years, 
1 have never actually seen them arriving 
or departing. They are said to be feeble 
flyers and usually travel at night, so it 
was of interest to see the young grebes, 
when nearly full-grown, trying the 
strength of their wings. 

As a preliminary, all four birds 
gathered in a group at one end of the 
dam; first one and then another flew the 
whole length of the dam, just skimming 

the surface. 1 observed this performance 
half a dozen times over a period of about 
a week, but I don't know the frequency 
in any one day. No doubt a good deal of 
practising went on unseen by me. 

On the last occasion I observed it, one 
of the grebes lifted itself to the level of 
the top of the dam bank (3 or 4 feet up). 
I thought it was ofT, but it circled and 
landed on the water again. 

Next day there were only three grebes 
on the dam. 

N. T. Rossiter, South Wangaratta. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

New Australian Plant for Victoria 

Formerly known only from the Blue Mountains NSW, 
Dampiera scottiana was believed to be extinct 

by Jean Galbraith 

During the past few years we have 
heard of several interesting plant dis- 
coveries in Victoria's eastern high- 
lands. One species, Dampiera scottiana 
F. Muell. collected by Mr. Evan 
Chesterfield, is of especial interest. 
Dampiera scottiana was described 
by Baron von Mueller in volume 11 
of "Fragmenta Phytographiae Aus- 
traliae", published between 1878 and 
1881, and is the only reference I can 
find (other than the listing in Kew 
Index). The description was based on 
the only known collection of the 
species by Dr. Woolls who sent it to 
Baron von Mueller from the Blue 
Mountains, N.S.W. Unfortunately I 
did not note the date on the Mel- 
bourne Herbarium specimen, but it 
must have been before 1880. 

The species, although it resembles 
in many ways our familiar Blue 
Dampiera Dampiera stricta, is more 
erect and with a somewhat woody 
base, slightly different leaves, and 
smaller dark blue flowers. The really 
striking difference is the shining ves- 
ture of silver hairs on the flowers, very 
unlike the brown hairs characteristic 
of D.stricta, and unlike any other 
species I know except D. fasciculata of 
W.A., which differs conspicuously in 
other ways. 

So far as I can discover, D. scot- 
tiana was not seen anywhere between 
1880 and 1973, and it is not mentioned 
in the recently published "Flora of the 

Sydney Region", which covers the 
Blue Mountains plants. 

When I asked the Director of 
Sydney Herbarium about this, I was 
referred to Mr. P. Smith of the Botany 
Department of the University of 
N.S.W. ; he has made a special study 
of the group which includes D. scot- 
tiana. When Mr. Smith saw Evan 
Chesterfield's specimen, he confirmed 
the identification and said that he had 
believed D. scottiana to be extinct, al- 
though there are two somewhat similar 
N.S.W. species undescribed as yet. 

It seems to me more surprising to 
re-discover a long lost species very far 
from its known habitat than to dis- 
cover a new species. It certainly poses 
more questions. 

The plants found by Mr. Chester- 
field were fairly abundant in two or 
three small areas near McMillan's 
Lookout, elevation about 1,000 ft. It 
was on 18 June 1973. A visit in 
October of the same year found the 
plants still blooming. Perhaps June is 
the beginning of the flowering period 
for D. scottiana and October the end. 

This discovery reminds me of the 
finding of Hibbertia hermaniifolia on 
Mt. Elizabeth near the Tambo River, 
during a Bairnsdale F.N.C. excursion 
some years ago. It was previously 
known only from Bent's Basin on the 
Nepean River, at the foot of the Blue 


In Australian Natural History Series by Collins: "Spiders" by Barbara York Main. 
296 pages. $12.95, discount to members; postage 90c within 50km, $1.20 within Victoria. 



The Origin of Generic Names of the Victorian Flora 
Part 2 -Latin, Greek and Miscellaneous 

(( !ontinued from page I \ ( > In the Last Issue) 

BY JAMI S A. Haini s 

>Momordica. Lai mordeo, bite, mor "Muraltia. Named hy N. J. von 

duns, biting; a genus of tropical Meeker alter Johann von Murall 

cucurbits of twining habit, in which (1645-1733), a Swiss botanist. *M. 

Cor 72 Mais h /•'.cballitim claterium, heisteria was introduced from South 

Squirting Cucumber, was classified. Africa. The genus belongs to family 

I he reason lor the lust syllable Mo Polygalaceae. (Omitted from Part I.) 

is obscure, but the leaves of Momor- 

dicQ arc- said to have tin- appearance N Myagrum. (ik myagros, mouse- 

of being bitten. catcher (from myagra, mousetrap), 

hence mOUSer (a kind of snake) and 

"Monerma. Gk monos, single; erma, flycatcher (a plant, probably of family 

support; probably from the rigid Cruciferae); applied to plants because 

flowering spike. "Af. cylindrical Com f stickiness, not necessarily insecti- 

mon Barb-grass (known in U.S.A. as vorous. 'A/, perfoliatum, Musk Weed, 

Hun Tail), was listed in I warts 'Flora ., troublesome plant in S.A., is so far 

of Victoria' (1931) as Lepturus confined to the Wimmera in Victoria. 


Mtyoporiiin. (ik myo, to shut, close; 

Monoploca. Gk monos, single, alone; :il|iK|inj , |o 1|k . lIosC(| 

plokos, a ock of Man. curl .wreath app earance of the leaf glands trans- 

/ epidium leptopetalum was described 

h\ I Mueller as a MoYlOploCGLy and at 
the same tune ( 1 855) he named 

Winged Pepper cress Lepidium mono 

ploCOldcs. All Monoploca species are 

parent spots tilled (and thus closed) 
with a pellucid substance. Victoria has 

seven species, all native, including A/. 
insulare, Boobialla, A/, platycarpum, 
Sugarwood. A/, montanum. Water- 

now in / epidium, family < Iruciferae. hus|i ;md A/ (/( . vm/ Turkey . bush (s0 
Monotoca. Gk monos, single: tokos, called because the wild turkey, <>■ 

offspring, a birth; from the one seeded 

bustard, Eucodotis australis, is fond 

truit. Our Huvv ol Ihese e P a Of the ruit. The genus gives its name 

cridaceous shrubs are known as to family Myoporaceae. 

broom heaths. 

MyosOtlS. The classical ( ik name for 

IVforlnda. I at moms, mulberry; in the European forget-me-not, from 

dicUS, Indian; Indian Mulberry, A/. mvs, genitive myos, mouse; ous, otos, 

jasminoides, Jasmine Morinda, is one ear; because of the resemblance oi' the 

of the subtropical plants reaching leaves to the ears of a mouse. Victoria 

Victoria only in East Gippsland, n.i . has three introduced species and two 

Queensland has most of our six Aus- native ones, all known as different 

tralian species. M. curitolni^ liankudo kinds of forget-me-not, a common 

or Nino, is native to the Philippines, name probably stemming from roman- 

tropical Asia. Pacific islands, but also tic notions of the 'language of flowers' 

is indigenous along the Queensland (cf, German Vergissmeinnicht, with 

coast I he genus belongs to family identical meaning). The Common I'or- 

Rubiaceae, get-me-not, a/, arvensis, of our gar- 

162 Vicl. Nat. Vol. 93 

dens has not been naturalized. Family 

Myosurus. Gk mys, myos, mouse; oura, 
tail; alluding to the long slender spike. 
Our species, M. minimus, Mousetail, 
is regarded as native, but J. M. Black 
in his 'Flora of South Australia' men- 
tioned it as 'introduced in America 
and possibly in Australia 1 . The genus 
is in family Ranunculaceae. 

Myriocephalus. Gk myrios, very 
many, numberless (cf. myrias, 10,000, 
hence our English word myriad, from 
the genitive myriados) ; kephale, head; 
in reference to the numerous flower 
heads of these composites. Victoria 
has two of the ten species of this en- 
demic Australian genus, M. rhizoce- 
phalus, Woolly-heads, and M. stuartii, 
Poached-eggs Daisy or Ham-and-eggs 
Daisy, picturesque common names 
given because of the vivid yellow 
centres surrounded by white florets. 
F. Mueller and Sonder gave the speci- 
fic name in honour of explorer, John 
McDouall Stuart. 

Myriophyllum. Gk myrios, very many; 
phyllon, leaf; in reference to the many 
divisions of the submerged leaves of 
these aquatic plants. All of our seven 
native species are known as different 
kinds of water-milfoil, and the single 
introduced species, *M. brasiliense, is 
known as Parrot's Feather. The genus 
belongs to family Haloragaceae. (Mil- 
foil means 1,000 leaves.) 

Najas. Gk naias (plural naiades), a 
water nymph; Linnaeus used the late 
Latin j as more in keeping with the 
consonantal sound of i (y in English, 
but j in nearly all the continental 
languages of Europe, including his 
own Swedish). Nevertheless the generic 
name has often been rendered Naias. 
Our sole species, N. tenuifolia, Water 

Nymph or Australian Naiad, is one of 
five Australian species (of a world 
total of 50), and is very rare here, 
being found only a few times along 
the Murray and in the Wimmera. The 
family Najadaceae takes its name 
from the genus. The Naiades of an- 
cient Greece were nymphs of fresh 
water, presiding over waters or springs 
which were believed to inspire those 
who drank of them (cf. Oceanides, of 
the wide oceans, Nereides, of the inner 
seas, the Mediterranean, and Pota- 
meides, of rivers). 

^Narcissus. Gk Narkissos, classical Gk 
name of the daffodil, in honour of the 
beautiful youth (known to us in the 
Latin spelling Narcissus) who was 
turned into the flower by the gods 
after falling in love with his own re- 
flection (hence our word narcissism). 
*N. pseudo-narcissus, Common Daf- 
fodil, and *N. jonquilla, Jonquil, are 
very often seen as garden escapes, and 
in some places are quite persistent. 

*NasseIla. Probably a diminutive of 
Lat nassa, a narrow-necked fish- 
basket, with suffix -ella added (cf. the 
protozoan genus Nassellaria). The 
species naturalized in Victoria, *N. 
trichotoma, Nassella Tussock is native 
to the pampas of Argentina, and has 
become a noxious weed in N.Z. pas- 
tures. It first appeared in Victoria in 
1954, but near Yass, N.S.W., in 1935, 
hence the name Yass River Tussock. 

^Nasturtium. Lat nasus tortus, twisted 
nose; from the pungent odour (that 
will k turn up your nose'). *N. offi- 
cinale, Water-cress, was formerly 
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum, and is 
in family Cruciferae, which contain 
mustard oil, as does Tropaeolum, 
which is the 'nasturtium' of our gar- 
dens, but is one of 90 species from 
Mexico to South America, of family 



*Nepeta. Lat name used by Pliny for 
these plants (from nepa, a scorpion). 
:,: /V. cataria, Catmint or Catnip, has a 
specific epithet derived from Lat catta, 
a word used for both cats and weasels, 
the usual word for cat being felis 
(hence the adjective feline). Catmint 
was called in medieval Latin herba 
catti (postulating a masculine noun 
cattus cf. Rattus rattus, the rat). 
Cataria was formerly capitalized, as 
it was a generic synonym of Nepeta; 
the latter name should be accented on 
the first syllable. Gareth Browning, in 
'The Naming of Wild Flowers' has a 
most interesting paragraph on the 
extraordinary fascination this plant 
has for cats, mentioning 'the ridi- 
culous creature's ecstatic behaviour in 
the presence of the herb'. He suggests 
that perhaps the bitter taste and 
strong flavour excites a sexual interest. 
He gives 'cat herb' names for the 
plant in French, Italian, German, 
Dutch and Spanish. Americans use the 
common name Catnip, which comes 
from Nep, a short form of Nepeta still 
heard in certain local English dialects. 
Family Labiatae. 

Nephrodium. Gk nephrodes, kidney- 
like; alluding to the form of the in- 
dusium of these ferns. Two species of 
Lastreopsis in our flora were formerly 
classified in this genus, family Aspi- 

Nertera. Gk nerteros, lowly; from the 
habit of growth of these creeping 
herbs. Our two species, both native, 
are N. reptans. Dwarf Nertera (the 
specific name means creeping), and 

N. depressa, Matted Nertera (an al- 
pine bog-plant). The genus is in family 

*Neslia. Named by Desvaux after J. 
A. N. Denesle, a French botanist 
(many such surnames may be written 
either with the article attached or 
separated, like Latrobe, La Trobe; 
Labillardiere, La Billardiere; similarly 
with the preposition de, of, denoting 
place of origin, thus De Nesle, Des 
Vaux, etc.). *7V. panlculata, Ball 
Mustard, is in Victoria established 
only near St. Arnaud, but it is natura- 
lized also in S.A. The genus is in 
family Cruciferae. (Omitted from Part 
1, so included here.) 


Neurachne. Gk neuron, nerve; achne, 
anything shaved off, froth, husk, 
glume; alluding to the many-nerved 
outer glumes. Our sole species is N. 
alopccuroidcs, Foxtail Mulga Grass, 
the specific epithet meaning like Alo- 
pccurus\ the foxtail genus (Gk alopex, 
alopekos, fox; oura, tail). 

*Nicandra. Adanson named this 
monotypic solanaceous genus after 
Nikander of Colophon, a poet who 
wrote of plants and their medical uses, 
circa 100 B.C. (his name means in Gk 
victorious or conquering man). *N. 
physaloides is known as Apple of Peru 
(it is endemic in that country), the 
specific epithet meaning 'like Physalis\ 
a genus with three species naturalized 
in Victoria, also in family Solanaceae. 
(Omitted from Part 1.) 

(To be continued) 


Ferns of Victoria and Tasmania by N. A. Wakefield, revised by Dr. J. H. Willis. 

Price $3.25, discount to members; postage 40c. Send order to Sales Officer: 
MrD. E. Mclnnes, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135; telephone 211 2427. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

The Mammal Survey Group, FINCV 

Editor's Note. Here is the second in our series on the F.N.C.V, Study Groups. All 
Club members are welcome at am o\ the Groups and, as meetings and other 
activities are more informal than the large Club affairs, people get to know each 
other more quickly. There is no extra subscription, Group events on page 167. 

The major aim of the Mammal Survey 
Group is the study of the distributions of 
the species of mammals native to Vic- 
toria. The emphasis of the Group is 
therefore on field surveys throughout the 
State, and as correct identification of 
mammals is essential for this work, the 
distinctive characteristics of each species 
are learnt by all Group members. The 
Group aims to contribute both to the 
scientific knowledge of Victorian mam- 
mals and to awareness of these animals 
among the general public. 


The most important activity of the 
Group is the regular survey camp. Each 
month, a weekend or long weekend is 
spent in a previously reconnoitred area oi' 
bush, and the mammals of the area are 
systematically surveyed. Small mammals 
are captured in portable box and wire 
cage live-traps, and are carefully identi- 
fied. Such live-trapping is carried out 
under a permit from the F isheries and 
Wildlife Department; every trapping party 
at a survey camp is therefore led by an 
experienced person who is licensed under 
this permit. Larger mammals, particu- 
larly the arboreal possums and gliders, 
are surveyed at night by spotlighting with 
hand-held lights. 

Records of every camp are kept so that 
detailed distributional information on 
each species may be accumulated. 

Most areas of Victoria arc visited, bul 
areas closer to Melbourne are naturally 
surveyed more often, longer camps at 
faster and Christmas are normally held 
in more distant areas. 

Recent work by the Group has resulted 
in some significant discoveries. At the 
l c )74 Christmas camp in the Casterton 
area of south-west Victoria, the insecti- 
vorous marsupial Antechinus minimus 
was trapped. This finding represents an 
inland range extension as the species had 
previously been known only from coastal 
localities. During a survey of the Lang- 
warrin Military Reserve in 1975, the rare 
New Holland Mouse Pscudomys novae 
hollandiae was captured. These new dis- 
coveries, together with the routine camp 
records, help to fill the gaps in our know- 
ledge of Victorian mammals. 


Meetings are held each month. At most 
o\' these a speaker addresses members on 
a particular aspect of the biology o\' 
mammals and their conservation. Speakers 
are often specialists from outside the 
Group. Apart from these talks, members 
report sightings and discuss past and 
future activities of the Group. 

The meetings are held on the first 
Thursday of each month at the Arthur 
Rylah Institute, Brown Street, Heidel- 
berg, from 8.00pm until about 10.00pm. 

Contributions from Country Members 

Recently we have published two very 
interesting articles written by people in 
the country. In this issue there is a 
report on Rainbow Birds; in last issue 
there was one on little Grebes. 

It is certain that other interesting 
nature observations are made by mem- 
bers in various parts o\' the country. The 
observations might be brief and could be 
prepared as short nature notes. Or they 
might be over an extended period and 
would make full length articles. Both 
kinds of items are wanted. People living 
in the country see more and have oppor- 

tunities to see more than city members 
who can go to the country only once a 
week and probably not as often as that; 
they are at a disadvantage. So we look 
to our country members and other people 
in the country to supply a substantial 
part o\' our natural history material. 

Preparing an article takes lime and 
work. Writing is more difficult lor some 
than for others, and many people declare 
they cannot write. Such a declaration 
could easily be due to modesty rather 
than to fact, but if you are one o\' the 
"can't write" school, it need not prevent 



you from giving us your observations. 
Simply send your notes. A member of 
our Editorial Committee will write them 
up and send them back to you for your 
approval or alteration. 

Many worth while nature observations 
never get recorded in print because the 
observer lacked the energy and or skill 
to write them. Everyone is the loser. If 
you lack energy, there is nothing we can 
do about it; if you merely lack skill or 
time but have the energy to jot down 
notes in a legible manner, we can have 
your observations prepared for other 
members to enjoy in a future Victorian 

Life member passes on 

Mrs. Effie Missen was made a life 
member about five years ago. Mrs. Missen 
was a Melbourne member until 1942, when 
she married and moved to the Colac area. 
But she took her natural history interests 
with her, and she and her family were 
among the founding members of the 
Colac E.N.C. in 1956. Mrs. Missen died 
in May. We extend sympathy to her rela- 
tives and to her son, Mr. Robert Missen, 
who is continuing the subscription to the 
"Victorian Naturalist" which he finds a 
valuable source of reference. 

Reports of FNCV Meetings 

General Meeting 
Monday, 14 June 

This was the Queen's Birthday holiday 
and attendance was only 50! 

Speaker lor the evening was Mr. Ian 
(Dick) Morrison. He showed slides of 
birds, lizards, caterpillars with their re- 
sulting butterflies or moths, spiders, 
orchids, and ended with the floral em- 
blems oi the six States and Northern 
Territory. On many of his subjects, Mr. 
Morrison gave fascinating comments from 
personal experience. 

Exhibits. A large display of fungi from 
1 nock's Point (10 miles from Jamieson) 
consisted mostly of gilled fungi large 
and tiny, some "jelly" specimens, some 
brackets, and an intriguing ! cm Chloro- 
splenum species; it was bright greenish- 
blue, and the piece of wetly dark wood 
on which it was growing appeared to be 
stained green, but the green was actually 
the line mesh of the fungus mycelium. 

Four microscopes revealed details of 
the anthers and stigmas of Fuchsia, 
Photinia, Cestrum and Daphne; it was 
interesting to compare their arrangements. 

Fossil casts from Tertiary beds at 
Royal Park showed four different gastro- 
pod molluscs. 

Slender, 3 cm caterpillars, dark green 
with a narrow red stripe along each side, 
had eaten everything except the veins of 
some gum leaves; were they Blue Gum 

Bird Study Group. Members interested 
in forming a bird group were asked to 
add their names to the list on the exhibit 
table. By the end oi the evening, the 
list had several names. 

General Meeting 
Monday, 12 July 1976 

This was the day of the Medibank 
strike and there was no meeting. 

Boneseed Eradication at Studley Park 
Sunday, 18 July 1976 

This was a follow-up to the ''pulling" 
exercise of May 1975. Workers went over 
the same area as last year and were 
very encouraged to find remarkably little 
Boneseed. It seems that the pest can be 
eradicated by pulling up the plants. Then 
the team attacked another area. 

The organiser, Mr. Ian Cameron, and 
his fellow workers are to be congratulated 
on this project. Next year, the old areas 
will be checked and the range extended. 
More workers will be needed. 

Boneseed {Chrysauthemoides monili- 
fera) establishes itself very readily and 
threatens to crowd out the native vege- 
tation. With the persistent efforts of 
members of this Club and other organi- 
sations, we can hope that the pest will 
eventually be eradicated from Studlev 

Small Jobs 

Mrs. Elma Gardner has volunteered to 
do our typing and duplicating. Miss Cicely 
Allen has volunteered as a library moni- 
tor at general meetings. 

We thank Mrs. Gardner and Miss Allen 
for responding, but it would be desirable 
to have one or two additional library 
monitors. It is an easy job and would be 
even easier if two or three could form 
a roster. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(Continued from page 126) 


(All members are invited to attend any Group Meeting, no other payment.) 
At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Wednesday in the Month — Geology Group. 

1 September— ''Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics". Dr. Chris. Gray, LaTrobe 

6 October — "Geology of Fiji". Mr. G. Love. 

Third Wednesday in the Month — Microscopical Group. 

18 August, 15 September, 20 October— Members' exhibits and discussion of sub- 
jects and methods. Details September Nature Show. 

Second Thursday in the Month — Botany Group. 

12 August— "Native Pea Flower Plants". Dr. R. G. MacDonald. 
9 September — "The Grampians". Mrs. I. Dunn. 
14 October— "Propagation of Native Plants". Mr. F. Jeffs. 
Each meeting includes a quarter-hour address for beginners — various subjects. 

At the Conference Room, The Museum, Melbourne, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Monday in the Month — Marine Biology and Entomology Group. 

6 September, 4 October, 1 November — Members' Exhibits. 

At the Arthur Rylah Institute, Brown Street, Heidelberg, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Thursday in the Month — Mammal Survey Group. 

5 August — "Wild Life of the Victorian Mallee". Mr. Clive Crouch. 

2 September — "Cave Dwelling Bats". Mr. Ellery Hamilton-Smith. 

7 October — "Biological Mapping". Mr. Arthur Brook. 


All Members are invited to attend Group Excursions. 

Day Group — Third Thursday in the Month. 

Thursday, 19 August — National Gallery of Victoria. Meet at Gallery Entrance, St. 
Kilda Road (1.15 p.m.). Guided tour starts at 1.30 p.m. 

Thursday, 16 September — Melbourne University Grounds. Meet at Gratten Street 
Entrance at 11.30 a.m. Lunch will be provided for 20 members. Book with 
Mr. D. E. Mclnness (211-2427). 

Thursday, 21 October — Maranoa Gardens. Meet at 11.30 a.m. 

Geology Group 

Sunday, 8 August — "A Beginner's Look at the Fossils and Geology of Beaumaris". 
Meet at Cheltenham Railway Station at 2.00 p.m. 

Sunday, 12 September — "Geology of Euroa". Meet at Euroa Post Office, 10.45 a.m. 

Botany Group — All members welcome. 
Please note change of date for August Excursion — "Wattles". 

Saturday, 14 August— "Wattles", Warrandyte, and Wonga Park. Leader: Mr. Ian 

Saturday, 11 September — "Cranbourne New Botanical Gardens". Leader: Mr. Ian 

Saturday, 25 September— "Survey of F.N.C.V. Land at Kinglake". 
Week-end, 9-10 October— "The Grampians". (Leave Melbourne Friday evening.) 
Saturday, 30 October— "Orchids— Mornington Peninsula". Leader: Mr. Ian Morrison. 


The Mammal Survey Group will hold a camp at The Otways on 18-19 September. 
(Details — Ray Gibson, 62-4007 business.) 

July/August 167 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

Established 1880 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 

and protect Australian fauna and flora. 

Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

His Excellency the Honorable Sir HENRY WINNEKE, K.C.M.G., O.B.E., Q.C. 

Key Oflice-Bearers, 1975-1976. 

Mrs. MARGARET CORRICK, 7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn, 3103. (857 9937.) 

Secretary: Dr. ALAN PARKIN. 

Assistant Secretary (correspondence): Mr. GARNET JOHNSON, 20 Sydare Avenue, 

Chadstone, 3148. (56 3227.) 
Treasurer - Subscription Secretary: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Rd., East 

Malvern, 3145. (211 2427.) 
Hon. Editor: Miss M. J. LESTER, 4/210 Domain Road, South Yarra, 3141. (26 1967.) 
Hon. Librarian: Mr. J. MARTINDALE, c/o National Herbarium, The Domain, 

South Yarra. 
Hon. Excursion Secretary: Miss M. ALLENDER, 19 Hawthorn Avenue, Caulfield, 

3151. (527 2749.) 
Sales Officer: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135. (21 1 2427.) 
Archives Officer: Mr. CALLANAN, 29 Reynards St., Coburg, 3058. Tel. 36 0587. 

Group Secretaries 

Botany: Mrs. RUTH ANDERS, 7 Barrington Drive, Ashwood, 3137. (25 3816.) 
Day Group: Miss D. M. BELL, 17 Tower Street, Mont Albert, 3127. (89 2850.) 
Field Survey: R. D. SANDELL, 39 Rubens Gve., Canterbury, 3126. (83 8009) 
Geology: Mr. T. SAULT. 

Mammal Survey: Mr. STEPHEN HARWOOD, 5 Prentice Street, Elsternwick, 3185. 

(53 1357) 

Microscopical: Mr. M. H. MEYER, 36 Milroy St., East Brighton. (96 3268.) 


Membership of the F.N.C.V. is open to any person interested in natural history. 
The Victorian Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and 
lending library is available and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the 
several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Rates of Subscriptions for 1975 


Joint Metropolitan $12.50 

Joint Retired Members $10.00 

Country Subscribers, and Retired Persons over 65 $8.00 

Joint Country $10.00 

Junior $2.50 

Subscriptions to Vict. Nat .. $8.00 

Overseas Subscription $10.00 

Junior with "Naturalist" $8.00 

Individual Magazines . . • • $0.75 

All subscriptions should be made payable to the Field Naturalist Club of Victoria and nosted to 
the Subscription Secretary. 





which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 

Category "B" 
legistered in Australia for transmission by post as a periodical 


At The National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra. 


Monday, 11 October (8.00 p.m.) — 
Speaker — Dr M. Joshi. 
Subject — "The Grand Canyon, HS-A.' 1 
Monday, 8 November (8.00 p.m.) — 
Speaker — Mr Brian Leonard. 

Subject — "The Effect of Fire on Animals throughout the World." 
Monday, 13 December (8.00 p.m.) — 
Speaker — Dr Elizabeth K. Turner. 

Subject — "In Darwin's footsteps to the Galapagos Islands." 
New Members — October General Meeting: 

Mr. John G. Allan, 18 Charles Street, Cheltenham, 3192 (Mammal and Field Survey). 
Mr. Andrew J. Barnes, 17/2a Robe Street, St. Kilda, 3182 (Birds and Reptiles). 
Mr. Ralph Berg, 18 Walmer Street, Kew, 3101 (Birds and General). 

Mr. Alister Briggs, 12/45 De Carle Street, Brunswick, 3056 (Entomology and Geology). 
Miss C. Brumley, 32 Faversham Road, Canterbury, 3126 (Mammal Survey). 
Mrs. S. G. Clark, 8/6 Balwyn Road, Canterbury, 3126. 
Mr. Neil Duncan, 4 Holland Road, Ringwood East, 3135. 

Mr. Rick Hancock, 2 Coombs Avenue, Huntingdale, 3166 (Botany, Mammal Survey). 
Mrs. Ella Hurrell, University College, Parkville, 3052. 
Miss J. A. Johnston, 1/155 Power Street, Hawthorn, 3122. 
Mr. Bruce McGregor, 28 David Street, Brunswick, 3056. 
Mr. Alf Salkin, 38 Pinewood Drive, Mt. Waverley, 3149 (Botany). 
Mrs. T. Sherlock, 3 Kitmont Street, Murrumbeena, 3163 (Botany). 
Mr. L. Smart, 22 Stewart Street, Windsor, 3181. 

Mr. Symons, 81 Leicester Street, Fitzroy, 3065 (Botany and Geology). 
Joint Members: 

Mr. and Mrs. E. Parker, 1 Kiewa Street, Ashwood, 3147. 

Mr. Ralph S. Coghill, P.O. Box 69, Wodonga, 3690. 

Mr. Peter F. Dryden, 90 Kelp Street, Warrnambool. 3280. 

Mrs. Mary Gladstone, P.O. Box 329, Cobram, 3644 (Trees, Plants, Birds, Geology). 

Dr. M. J. Hunter, P.O. Box 311, Albury, N.S.W., 2640. 

Mr. F. Kingwell, 53 Service Street, Tatura, 3616. 


Sunday, 17 October — Kinglake. This will include an inspection of our Kinglake property 
and a visit to the Park. The coach will leave Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m. Fare $4.00. 
Bring one meal and a snack. 

Tuesday, 2 November. Cup Day Picnic — Wombat Forest. Leader, Mr J. Myers. The coach 
will leave Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m. Fare $4.00, half price under sixteen. Bring a 
picnic lunch and a snack. Bookings should be made with the excursion secretary. Those 
going direct by private car should meet at approximately 11.15 a.m. at Firth Park picnic 
area which is reached by a good gravel road from Bullengarook about halfway between 
Gisborne and Bacchus Marsh. After lunch there will be a bushland walk to the site of 
an old sawmill. Juniors are specially invited to join in this excursion. 

Sunday, 21 November — Angahook Forest Park. Leader, Miss J. Forster. The coach will leave 
Batman Avenue at 9.30 a.m. Fare $5.00. Bring two meals. Members travelling by car 
should meet at the Park about noon in the right-hand car park as you enter. 

Saturday, 4 December — Lake Mountain. The December excursion will be held on Saturday, 
4 December, in conjunction with the Native Plants Preservation Society. The coach will 
leave Batman Avenue at 9.00 a.m.. Fare $5.00 — bring two meals. 

Saturday, 1 January -Sunday, 9 January — Tasmania. This excursion will be based on Burnie 
and led by members of the Burnie F.N. Club who have formed a committee to plan the 
programme consisting of day trips from Burnie, a day at Cradle Mountain is likely to be 
included. Accommodation has been booked at the Club Hotel for the party on a dinner, 
bed and breakfast basis. The party will travel to Burnie by air on Saturday morning and 
return on Sunday afternoon, 9 January, but members wishing to extend their stay may 
do so. The cost for accommodation and return air fare should be under $200.00. The 
transport on the day trips will be extra, but a figure cannot be given until the programme 
is arranged and there is some indication of the number going. Bookings should be made 
with the excursion secretary as soon as possible, accompanied by a deposit of $25.00 and 
the balance paid by the November General Meeting. 

The Canterbury Botanical Society (N.Z.) Inc. will be on a camping tour of Tasmania 
while we are there and have suggested that a few members might like to join their party 
for the last few days of their trip; they will be going to Cradle Mountain on 9 January, 
then on to Launceston on the 11th and they leave for N.Z. on the 13th. 
They are on a camping type trip with tents, sleeping bags, food and bus transport pro- 
vided; the cost would depend on individual arrangements and the address of the Society 
can be obtained from the excursion secretary. 

(Continued on page 211.) 

r ** 

The Victorian 

Volume 93, Number 5 6 October 1976 

Editor: Margery J.Lester 
Committee: Margaret Corrick, Reuben Kent, Roland Myers, Brian Smith, Grif Ward 

Solar Eclipse— 23 October 1976, by David Marshall 172 

Endemic Flora of Victoria, by Ross Macdonald 174 

Bush-peas of Victoria, by M.G.Corrick 176 

Australian Plants on Burwood-Alamein reserve, by T.B.Muir . 180 

Generic Names of Victorian Flora, by J.A.Baines 182 

Life History and Biology of a Snail, by Brian Smith 185 

Victorian Non-Marine Molluscs, by Brian Smith 189 

New Bat of Victorian Forests, by Harold Parnaby 190 

Palaeo-ecology of Pebbles, by K.N.Bell 194 

Life History of Gall Fly on Eucalypts, by G.A.Currie 196 

Blackburn Lake Classified by National Trust 197 

Recent Fossil Discoveries in Victoria, by T.H. V.Rich 198 

Book Reviews z,u/ 

Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria: The Geology Group . . . . 209 
Reports of FNCV Meetings, 210. 

Cover illustration: The bat Pipistrellus tasmaniensis is now recorded 

alive in Victoria, see page 190. This photograph, about four times 

larger than life, was taken by Alan Hartup. 

Solar Eclipse - 23 October 1976 

ijy David F. Marshall* 

On Saturday 23 October 1976 most 
of the densely populated areas of Vic- 
toria will experience a total eclipse of 
the sun by the moon. The total eclipse 
in Victoria will occur from 4.38 to 
4.44pm; the partial phase will continue 
for about an hour before and after. 
All parts of Australia will have a 
partial eclipse. A total eclipse is a rare 
phenomenon, repeating itself only after 
hundreds of years for any particular 

When an eclipse of the sun occurs, 
the moon passes between the sun and 
the earth so that the shadow formed 
by the moon crosses the earth's sur- 
face. Because the sun is larger than 
the moon, the intense black umbral 
shadow covers only a small area of the 
earth's surface, and this is swept across 
the earth's surface as the moon moves 
around its orbit. Surrounding the dark 
umbral shadow is an area where only 
part of the sun is obscured by the 
moon. This is called the region of par- 
tial eclipse. 

The total eclipse will sweep across 
Victoria along a path shown in the 
map. Near the centre of the path, 
totality will last about three minutes; 
near the edges it will last only seconds. 
A detailed map has been prepared by 
the Lands Department and can be pur- 
chased for $2.00 from the Science 


When an eclipse occurs a most eerie 
sensation is experienced and there is 
real danger; the danger is that you 
might look at the eclipse without the 
moon completely covering the sun. 

If there is the least part of the sun 

exposed, it will damage your eyes per- 
manently if you look at it, even if you 
use smoked glass, welding goggles, or 
over-exposed photographic film. Under 
no circumstances look directly towards 
the eclipse before or after it is total. 
During the period that the eclipse is 
total, it is dark like night-time and 
only then is it safe to look directly at 
the eclipse. 

To observe the early stages of the 
eclipse, an image must be projected on 
to a white screen, and this image can 
be looked at with perfect safety and 
the stages observed with reasonable 
accuracy. It is very likely that devices 
for projecting such an image will be 
explained in the daily press so no more 
will be said here, and information 
could be obtained from the Science 

Things to look for 

When the eclipse occurs, a number 
of phenomena can be seen with the 
naked eye which are invisible in the 
full glare of the sun. The faint upper 
atmosphere of the sun becomes visible. 
Streamers partly illuminated from the 
sun but mainly illuminated by ionized 
atoms and electrons are seen radiating 
around the sun in the corona. Some- 
times prominences resembling large 
flames are seen, at times forming loops 
and arches. Flares which are brighter 

^Planetarium Lecturer 
Science Museum of Victoria 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

and smaller than prominences can also 
be observed. The sky around the 
eclipse will be so dark that planets 
and stars will be seen if the atmo- 
sphere is clear enough. 

If a large white surface is placed 
facing towards the eclipse, often sha- 
dow bands are seen moving across it 
during the period just before and just 
after totality. Clouds in the sky show 
variation as the dark shadow passes. 
From a high position you can see the 
shadow of the edge of the moon sweep- 
ing across the countryside. 

Many people will be interested in 
the behaviour of animals and insects. 
If humans experience an eerie sensa- 
tion it is likely that animals will be 
even more sensitive to it, and the 
eclipse will be followed by a short 
''day" of about two hours as the sun 
sets at 6.45 pm. How creatures react to 
the second nightfall could provide 
some very interesting observations. 

Anyone making observations will 
find the following items essential: 

1. A notebook. On each page out- 
line at least two circles the size of a 
20 cent piece on which a vertical and 
horizontal diameter are drawn. Use 
them as foundations for sketches. 2. A 
torch. 3. A clock or watch with second 

Additional items are: tape recorder, 
weather vane, thermometer, spare 
sharpened pencils and rubbers, sheets 
of cardboard, white screen for shadow 

Remember, be ready to record any- 

thing; clouds can make observations 
uncertain and you may be the observer 
with the best chance to see something 
that was not anticipated. The eclipse 
will last less than three minutes so try 
to arrange that you are able to look 
all the time. Later you will realise the 
value of the sketches, jottings and 
noises you recorded. 


Direct photography of the eclipse is 
only satisfactory if a telephoto lens is 
used. While any sun is visible the 
shortest exposure at minimum aper- 
ture must be used, but beware of 
damage to your camera from the in- 
tense heat generated on the shutter if 
direct sunlight is allowed to fall on it. 
When the eclipse is total, take photo- 
graphs at as many different speeds and 
apertures as you can: short exposures 
show details close to the eclipse, long 
exposures show the streamers better; 
luck may enable you to photograph 
something your eye does not detect. 
Of course use a tripod and have a 
torch handy. 

Do not look at the sun through the 
camera or its view-finder, even with a 
filter. It could result in permanent eye 

A booklet about the eclipse is avail- 
able for $1.40 from The Astronomical 
Society, Box 1059J, GPO, Melbourne. 
As well as astronomical data, it con- 
tains suggestions for natural history 
observers and useful hints for photo- 

Path of the moon's 
shadow across 
Victoria. It advances 
at about one mile 
(1.6 km) per second. 



The Endemic Flora of Victoria 

by Ross Macdonald* 

A list of the endemic vascular plants of Victoria can never be complete. 
Some species may have "border-hopped" to be found in other States, and so 
must be excluded from the list. On the other hand it is to be hoped that further 
searching will provide new endemic species in the future. 

In this list, varieties and subspecies have been excluded. *Signifies hybrids 
and aberrant forms of other species. 

At the present time there are 136 species endemic to Victoria. 


Cyathea marcescens 

Poa hothamensis 
Deyeuxia sp., affin 

D.angusti folia 
Scirpus victoriensis (likely 

to be found in NSW and 

Car ex pauper a 
Lepyrodia flexuosa 
Centrolepis cephaloformis 
Astelia australiana 
Thelymitra murdochae 
Calochilus richae 
Diuris fastidiosa (presumed 

Prasophyllum morganii 
P.colemanae (presumed 

P .appendiculatum 
P.diversiflorum (presumed 

Paracaleanaj sullivanii* 
Caladenia pumila 

(presumed extinct) 
Pterostylis crypta* 
Pt. celans* 

Persoonia arborea 
Grevillea repens 


G.sp. (Elphinstone, 

Fryerstown, Enfield) 
G.sp., affin G.microstegia * 

(Ben Major area) 
G. willi sii 
G.williamsonii* (presumed 

Muehlenbeckia horrida 

(likely to be in NSW) 
A triplex pa pi I lata 
Bassia ram say ae 
Ranunculus eichleranus 
Lepidium aschersonii 
L.dubium* (doubtfully 

distinct from preceding) 
L.sp. (south coast) 
Crassula tripartita 
Bauer a sessiliflora 
Tetratheca subaphylla 

(almost certainly in SE of 

Acacia phasmoides 
A.X gray ana* 





A .nano-dealbata 


Pultenaea tenella 






P .william so niana 


P. mollis 



Dillwynia oreodoxa 


Platylobium alternifolium 

Bossiaea rosmarinifolia 

Swainsona plagiotropis 


Boronia muelleri 

B.lati pinna 

Phebalium sp. 

(Pine Mountain) 
Ph.sp., affin Ph.squameum 
A sterolasia asteriscophora 
Trymalium d'altonii 
T .ramosissimum 
Spyridium cinereum 
Hibbertia spat hula ta 
H.sp. (Macalister River 

H.sp. (also from Macalister 

River watershed) 

*Balcombe Court, Croydon. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Frankenia sp., affin 

F. gracilis 
Pimelea hewardiana 
Eucalyptus alpina 
Baeckea crenatijolia 
Calytrix sullivanii 
Thryptomene calycina 
Haloragis rubra 
Callitriche cyclocarpa 
A strotricha parvifolia 
A .asperifolia 

Wittsteinia vacciniacea 
Choristemon humilis 
Leucopogon riparius 
L. pi lifer 
Monotoca rotundifolia 
Acrotriche prostrata 
Trochocarpa clarkei 

Westringia senifolia 
W .cremnophila 
Prostanthera melissifolia 
P.sp. (Cultivation Creek, 

P.sp., affin P.decussata 
P.sp., affin P. rotundifolia 

(Macalister R.) 
P.sp., affin P.howelliae 

(Macalister R.) 

Coprosma nivalis 
Hypsela tridens 
Goodenia macmillanii 
Stylidium soboliferum 
Levenhookia sonde ri 
Brachycome petrophila 
B. gracilis 

Celmisia sericophylla 
Olcaria speciosa 

Helichrysum rogersianum 
Leptorhynchos gatesii 
(presumed extinct) 
Gnephosis baracchiana 


I wish to thank Dr. J. H. Willis for his meticulous correction and updating 
of the manuscript. 


Willis, J. H. A Handbook to Plants in Victoria, Volumes 1 and 2. M.U.P., 1962, 1972. 

Preparing material for 'The Victorian Naturalist' 

When preparing material for publication, please have it typed with double line 
spacing and leave at least 3 cm (about \\") clear margin at the left. Captions to 
figures should be typed on a separate page. Monochrome illustrations should be 
supplied, as it is costly and rarely satisfactory to reproduce from coloured material. 
If article is of a scientific nature, it is desirable to supply two copies of text matter. 

To all FNCV members 

The last few pages of each "Natura- 
list" are reserved for information about 
FNCV affairs and persons. Those pages 
are the chief means of communication of 
Council with all Club members. Whether 

or not you attend general meetings regu- 
larly, there will be much on those pages 
that will interest you and often some 
things you should know. 
See page 209 in this issue. 



Bush-peas of Victoria - genus Pultenaea No.1 

Tejct by M. G. Cor rick* 

Pea flowers in various shades of yel- 
low and brown are a prominent feature 
of Victoria's bushland. In all, fourteen 
genera comprising fifty-nine species 
are represented in the State. By far the 
largest genus is Pultenaea, the Bush- 
pea, o\' which forty-six species have 
been recorded. 

They grow in a wide variety of 
habitats from sea level to the alps, in 
coastal dunes and semi-deserts of the 
north-west, in swamps and alpine 
moors. In fact any area rich in flower- 
ing shrubs is likely to contain one or 
more species oi' Pultenaea. 

The genus Pultenaea is endemic in 
Australia, numbering about 120 species 
which are confined to the temperate 
regions. Many species occur on the 
Hawkesbury sandstones in New South 
Wales and in the Grampians in Vic- 

stamens free 

Fig. 1. A typical pea-flower; a, expanded 
petals showing the standard, wings and 
keel; b, staminal bundle; e, style and 
ovary disected to show the ovules; d, seed 
showing the caruncle. 

Drawings by Ri:x FlLSON 

Pultenaea was first described in 1793 
by James E. Smith, a Scottish phy- 
sician and botanist and founder of the 
Linnaean Society. He named the genus 
after a contemporary physician and 
botanist, James Pulteney. Dr Smith's 
description, with a coloured illustra- 
tion by James Sowerby, was published 
in "A Specimen of the Botany of New 
Holland". The plants which Smith de- 
scribed were cultivated in England at 
StockweU, from seed brought from 
New South Wales. 

By 1799 there were twelve species 
in cultivation in Great Britain, but 
they have not proved easy to estab- 
lish in cultivation in Australia. 

Since the publication of Bentham's 
"Flora Australiensis", Vol.2 in 1864 
there have been two major publica- 
tions on the genus Pultenaea. H. B. 
Williamson (1919-1928) dealt with over 
100 Australian species. Mrs. Joy 
Thompson (1961) prepared a key and 
descriptions of all species known to 
occur in New South Wales. 

Pultenaeas in Victoria vary in size 
from the low, mat-forming P.peduncu- 
lata to the tall P.altissima, which may 
reach a height of three metres, and all 
are classed as shrubs. 

The flower 

The Pultenaea flower is a typical 
pea-flower (Fig. la) and to distinguish 
the genus from others with similarly 
coloured flowers it is necessary to ex- 
amine some of the less prominent fea- 
tures of the plant. 

The stamens are always free from 
one another; if a flower is dissected 

c 7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

they will fall out separately. The style 
is usually as long as or longer than the 
stamens and may be gently curved at 
the tip or occasionally hooked. The 
ovary contains two ovules, but often 
only one matures (Fig. 1c). 


Stipules are always present at the 
base of the leaves. They may be small 
and inconspicuous or deciduous; in the 
latter cases they may be seen on young 
growth, or the scars will be evident on 
the older wood. On the leaves imme- 
diately below the flower the stipules 
are often much enlarged and may be 
joined together. In some species a 
gradual transition can be seen from a 
leaf with a pair of stipules, to a single 
organ in which the vestigial leaf may 
appear as a minute central lobe be- 
tween the united stipules. In the fol- 
low descriptions the term "enlarged 
stipules' 1 will be used to describe these 

Bracts and Bracteolcs 

In many species the flowers are sub- 
tended by numerous conspicuous 
bracts. These probably have evolved 
from stipules but where they are 
noticeably different from them in 
shape or size the term "bract" will be 

Bracteoles are always present; they 
may be immediately below the calyx 
or may arise on the calyx tube. They 
are one of the most important features 
distinguishing the genus, and their 
shape, texture and position are very 
important in separating species. 

The fruit 

The pod is ovate, usually swollen 
and often beaked; when ripe the valves 
curl back to release the seeds and re- 
veal the pale inner surface. The carun- 
culate seed (Fig. 1) is another import- 
ant feature, but difficult to see because 
mature seeds are usually ejected as 

soon as the pod ripens. 1 lowever, if 
the ovary of a mature flower or un- 
ripe fruit is carefully dissected the de- 
veloping caruncle can often be seen. 
It is a small swelling, or outgrowth 
from the testa (seed coat) near the 
point of attachment to the funicle. 

Features that identify the genus 

Several of Victoria's yellow pea- 
flowers combine some of the features 
described here, but it is only in /'///- 
tenaea that free stamens, stipules, 
bracteoles and carunculate seeds are 
combined. In fact there are few 
genera, apart from P id tenaea, that 
have both bracteoles on the calyx and 
stipulate leaves, so that the presence 
of* these two features is a strong in- 
dication of a Pul tenaea. 

Most species are very variable, par- 
ticularly in size and shape of leaves 
and degree of hairiness ui' the plant. 
The following descriptions are based 
on broad concepts; attention will be 
drawn to variations, but it is felt that 
in many cases a great deal of field 
study and collection is necessary be- 
fore reliable classification can be made 
at sub-specific level. To avoid duplica- 
tion of illustrations and to facilitate 
references, figures will be numbered 
consecutively throughout the series. 

Records of the distribution of Pul- 
tenaea in Victoria are far from com- 
plete. The maps accompanying de- 
scriptions o\' species in this series are 
based mainly on existing collections 
and show the areas in which a species 
is likely to be found. 

In some cases these vary slightly 
from distributions recorded by Chur- 
chill and de Corona (1972) and Willis 
(1972), but it was preferred to omit 
records which could not be checked. 
The author would be pleased to hear 
from anyone having additional infor- 
mation. Offers of help in locating 
some of the less widespread species 
would also be appreciated. 



Pultenaea daphnoides 

J. Wendlander in Botanische Beobachtungen, Hanover 1798, 

Large-leaf Bush pea. 

This species is one of the most wide- 
spread in southern and eastern Vic- 
toria. It is a tall showy shrub, usually 

2 to 3 metres high, which favours 
sheltered and rather moist sites, often 
under tall timber. In drier areas such 
as the Brisbane Range, P .daphnoides 
will be found on south-facing slopes. 
It is not common in the Grampians 
and is absent from north-western 
areas. P. daphnoides also occurs in New 
South Wales, South Australia and 

The flowers are in dense clusters at 
the tips of the branches. They are 
clear yellow, except for the dark 
brown keel. The standard is about 
12 mm wide and 8 mm high (without 
the claw). The calyx is 8-10 mm long, 
with slender bracteoles 1 mm wide and 

3 mm long inserted above the centre 
of the calyx tube, but not usually 
reaching the height of the calyx lobes 
(Fig. 2d). 

Calyx and pedicel are densely 
covered with long, pale, silky hairs. 
The broad, brown, obtuse bracts are 
often split at the tips and have fine, 
silky appressed hairs at their base and 

along the mid-rib. Most bracts have 
fallen by the time the flowers are fully 

The leaves are obovate or cuneate, 
glabrous and paler on the under side, 
with slightly recurved margins. The 
mid vein is produced into a slender 
mucronate point. The dark brown tri- 
angular stipules are about 2 mm long 
and their bases often remain on the 
stem after the leaves have fallen. 

There is a good deal of variety in 
leaf size and shape (Fig. 2g) even on 
single plants. Most Victorian speci- 
mens have more obcordate leaves than 
the typical Port Jackson form. Willis 
mentions a narrow-leaved form from 
Mts Ida and Korong, and two distinct 
leaf forms are reported to occur on 
Wilson's Promontory but no collec- 
tions from the latter area have been 

I wish to thank the National Her- 
barium, Melbourne, for permission to 
study the collections and Dr Jim Ross, 
Senior Botanist, for advice and en- 

Fig. 3. The known distribution of 
Pultenaea daphnoides. 


Bentham, G. (1864). Flora Australiensis, Vol. 

2 (Lovell Reeve & Co., London). 
Churchill, D. M. and de Corona A. (1972). 

The Distribution of Victorian Plants. (The 

Dominion Press: Blackburn.) 
Thompson, Joy (1961). Contributions to the 

N.S.W. Herbarium, Flora Series 101: 60. 
Williamson, H. B. (1920) — Proc. Roy. Soc. 

Vict. 32: 210-224. (1921) — Proc. Roy. Soc. 

Vict. 33: 133-148. (1922) — Proc. Roy. Soc. 

Vict. 35: 96-107. (1925) — Proc. Roy. Soc. 

Vict. 37: 125-129. (1928) — Proc. Roy. Soc. 

Vict. 40: 57-61. 
Willis, J. H. (1972). A Handbook to Plants in 

Victoria, Vol. 2. (Melbourne University 



Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fig. 2. Pultenaea daphnoides; a, habitat; b, flower; c, floral bract; d, calyx and a 
bracteole; e, style and ovary; f, base of leaf showing the stipules and hairy petiole; 
g, variation in leaf size and shape, i, from a typical Port Jackson specimen, ii and iii 
from Mount Kaye, north of Orbost, iv from Gippsland, v, Sampsons beach, Orbost, 
vi from the Bemm River area, vii from the Grampians. 

Drawings by Rex Filson 



Australian Plants still survive on Burwood- Alamein 
railway reserve in eastern suburbs of Melbourne 

BY T. B. Muir* 

The metropolitan area is now largely 
covered by roads and houses, and the 
original vegetation has virtually dis- 
appeared. Recent articles by Bridge- 
water (1975), and Bridgewater and 
Wellington (1976) have discussed two 
remnants of this vegetation. 

Another remnant is to be found in 
the railway reserve between Burwood 
and Alamein stations — an unculti- 
vated place of the kind that small boys 
like to explore. One such schoolboy 
(Robert 1976) has written about his 
impressions of it. He found birds, sun- 
dews, ants, Running Postman — hours 
could be spent in contemplation of 
them. His interest led the author to 
compile a checklist of the native 
plants, the total being 42 for a dis- 
tance of 1.8 km. 

The trees, mostly Eucalyptus camal- 
dulensis, are very attractive and are a 
dominant feature of the landscape in 
the vicinity of the railway line. They 
are fairly evenly scattered along the 
reserve, but the remainder of the 
native species are now found only in 
several isolated sections. 

Various factors are contributing to 
their disappearance, the invasion of 
weeds being the most serious. In places 
lawn mowers have effectively eradi- 
cated the native species, replacing 
variety with a dull uniformity. Local 
residents have sometimes attempted to 
improve the reserve with exotic garden 
plants, whose garishness contrasts with 
the quiet subtle beauty of indigenous 
species. Others regard it as a rubbish 
dump, and the Victorian Railways 
occasionally plough or bulldoze some 

Nevertheless this reserve is poten- 
tially valuable. With wise management 
the smaller native plants should re- 
main for some years yet, although it 
seems certain that they will eventually 
disappear. However the trees and 
shrubs, viz.: Eucalyptus camaldulensis, 
E.viminalis, Acacia armata, A.mearn- 
sii, A.melanoxylon, Bursaria spinosa, 
and Exocarpos cupressiformis, should 
remain indefinitely. 

To conserve the area 

The following measures are neces- 
sary to preserve the area. 

1. Rubbish, exotic garden plants 
and certain weeds such as Chrysan- 
themoides monilifera (Boneseed) 
should be removed. 

2. Earthworks should be limited as 
far as possible, and banned from 
sections where the native species are 

3. To allow regeneration, selected 
sections should be protected from 
burning, mowing, etc., until seedlings 
are big enough to survive without 
further attention. 

4. If regeneration is slow in some 
places they should be replanted with 
seedlings propagated from existing 
plants in the reserve. 

This reserve can be used in several 
ways. Areas of this kind offer us the 
means of teaching children about con- 
servation in a very practical way, and 
without the need for travelling great 
distances. If they learn at an early age 
they will, like Robert, enjoy and pro- 

*52 Liston Street, Burwood 3125. 


Vict, Nat. Vol. 93 

tect these areas. The plants are a 
source of propagating material for 
people wishing to re-establish the in- 
digenous flora. The larger areas can 
be incorporated into systems of bicycle 
and walking tracks, instead of being 

converted into freeways as is so often 
their fate at present. 

The author would be pleased to hear 
from anyone knowing of other rem- 
nants of the original flora, no matter 
how small. 

Checklist of Australian plants of the Burwood-Alamein railway reserve 


Agropyron scabrum, Common Wheat- 

Anguillaria dioica, Early Nancy 

Bulbine bulbosa, Bulbine Lily 

Burchardia umbellata, Milkmaids 

Caesia vittata, Blue Grass-lily 

Danthonia caespitosa, Common Wallaby- 

D.geniculata, Kneed Wallaby-grass 

D.linkii, Wallaby-grass 

D.setacea, Bristly Wallaby-grass 

Dianella caerulea, Paroo Lily 

Dichelachne crinita, Long-hair Plume- 
D.sciurea, Short-hair Plume-grass 
Dichopogon strictus, Chocolate Lily 
Hypoxis glabella, Yellow Star 
Juncus sp. (Section Genuini), Rush 
Lomandra filiformis, Wattle Mat-rush 
Luzula cam pest ris, Woodrush 
Poa australis sp.agg., Tussock Grass 
Stipa semibarbata, Fibrous Spear-grass 
Themeda australis, Kangaroo Grass 
Tricoryne elatior, Yellow Rush-lily 
Thelymitra sp., Sun Orchid 

Acacia armata, Hedge Wattle 
A.mearnsii, Black Wattle 
A .melanoxylon, Blackwood 
Acaena agnipila, Sheep's Burr 

Bossiaea prostrate, Creeping Bossiaea 
Bursaria spinosa, Sweet Bursaria 
Cotula australis, Common Cotula 
Drosera peltata, Pale Sundew 
Eucalyptus camaldulensis, River Red Gum 
E.viminalis, Manna Gum 
Exocarpos cupressiformis, Cherry Ballart 
Geranium retrorsum, Crane's-bill 
Kennedia prostrata, Running Postman 
Lepidium hyssopifolium, Common 

Leptorhynchos squamatus, Scaly Buttons 
Pimelea curviflora, Curved Rice-flower 
P.humilis, Common Rice-flower 
Senecio quadridentatus, Cotton Fireweed 
Wahlenbergia quadrifida, Sprawling 

W.tadgellii, Tadgell's Bluebell 


Bridgewater, P. (1975). "Vegetation in the 
S.E. suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. 
1. Clayton South", Vic. Nat., 92: 93-95. 
Bridgewater, P. B. and Wellington, B. 
(1976). "Vegetation in the south-eastern 
suburbs, Melbourne. 2. Native and intro- 
duced plant communities in a Mount 
Waverley reserve", Vic. Nat., 93: 113-117. 
Robert (1976). [Note], Environment News, 
1(5): 11. 

Thank you for help with block costs 

The Fisheries and Wildlife Division of 
the Ministry for Conservation, Murdoch 
University of Western Australia, and the 
Zoology Department of the University of 
Melbourne, have all contributed gener- 
ously to the cost of blocks in recent 
articles by their respective personnel. 

Illustrations add considerably to the cost 
of producing "The Naturalist" yet our 
journal would be much less attractive 
without them. The FNCV is very appre- 
ciative of the help given by those 
Thank you. 



The Origin of Generic Names of the Victorian Flora 
Part 2 -Latin, Greek and Miscellaneous 

(Continued from page 164 in the last issue.) 

by James A. Baines 

Nitraria. Greco-Latin nitrum, salt- 
petre; because the plant was first 
found growing on saline plains in 
Siberia. Australia has only one of the 
seven species in the world, N. scho- 
beri y Nitre Bush, which in Victoria is 
only in the N.W. and W. The genus 
belongs to family Zygophyllaceae. 

*Nonea. Name given by F. C. Medicus 
for reasons unknown; possibly from 
Lat nonus, nine; or non-ea, not there; 
or from a proper name such as Nona, 
-ea being used in New Latin to form 
generic names when the surname 
ended in a vowel. *N. lutea, Yellow 
Alkanet, was formerly classified in 
Alkanna (through Spanish alcana from 
Arabic al-hinna, henna), of which 
alkanet is a diminutive. The genus is 
in family Boraginaceae. (Portuguese 
mathematician, Pedro Nunes, 1492- 
1577, was known also as Nonius, and 
Nonea could derive thence.) 

Notelaea. Gk notos, the south; elaia, 
the olive, olive-tree; being southern 
plants in the olive family, Oleaceae. 
Our two species are known as Large 
Mock-olive and Privet Mock-olive, the 
latter name stemming from the speci- 
fic epithet ligustrina {— like Ligustrum, 

No*hofagus. Gk nothos, false, spu- 
rious, bastard; hence Lat nothus, false; 
Lat fagus, beech; being in family 
Fagaceae, and therefore related to the 
beeches of Europe (Fagus). Our species 
is N. cunninghamii, named as a Fagus 
by Hooker after Allan Cunningham, 
and more appropriately known in 
Victoria as Myrtle Beech than in Tas- 
mania, where the misleading name of 

Myrtle is almost universally used. 
Australia has three endemic species, 
but there are 35 in the genus, which 
extends to New Guinea, New Cale- 
donia, N.Z. and South America. 

Notholaena. Gk nothos, false; laina, 
cloak; because the curved margin of 
the leaf segments forms a spurious in- 
dusium. R. Brown founded the genus, 
which is now included in Cheilanthes, 
two of our cloak-ferns, C. distans and 
C. lasiohhylla, having formerly been 
in Notholaena. Family Adiantaceae. 

*Nothoscordum. Gk nothos, spurious, 
false; skordon, garlic; a generic name 
established by Kunth in 1843 for Ven- 
tenat's Allium fragrans when he re- 
cognized it as not a true garlic (Lat 
allium, garlic). It is curious that 
Aiton's A. inodorum (1789) is con- 
specific, but the epithets mean exactly 
the opposite, i.e. fragrant, and 'with- 
out smeir. *N. inodorum is the valid 
name for Wild Onion, also known as 
Fragrant False-garlic, a weed of un- 
certain origin, in family Amaryl- 

Notothixos. Gk notos, the back; thixis, 
touching; because these mistletoes are 
parasitic on other mistletoes (in Vic- 
toria on Dendrophthoe and Muel- 
ler ina). It recalls the verse: 

'Great fleas have little fleas upon 

their backs to bite 'em, 
And little fleas have lesser fleas, and 

so ad infinitum.' 
N. subaureus, Golden Mistletoe, is in 
subfamily Viscoideae of Loranthaceae, 
raised by Barlow to family status as 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

*Nuphar. Gk nouphar, name of a 
medicinal plant, perhaps a water-lily 
(Jaeger); the Arabic name (Smith and 
Stearn); the Persian nufar or naufar, 
water-lily (Gilbert-Carter); from nau- 
far, the Arabic name of the plant 
(A. T. Johnson and H. A. Smith). 
*Nuphar lutea, European Yellow 
Water-lily or Brandy-bottle, is the 
water-weed that defies eradication 
from acres of the large lake in Mel- 
bourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. The 
latter common name was given be- 
cause the flowers smell of alcohol (the 
new kiosk recently erected will not have 
a licence to sell alcoholic drinks, as 
was planned for the former structure 
that was to have obtruded near this 
lake). They are not lilies, being in the 
dicotyledonous family Nymphaeaceae. 

Nymphoides. Resembling Nymphaca 
(Gk oides, with the form of); because 
these water-loving plants look rather 
like water-lilies. Our two native 
species, Wavy and Entire Marshworts 
respectively, were formerly in Limnan- 
themum, and belong to family Men- 

*Oenothera. Gk oinotheras, onotheras, 
the name in classical authors of 
Nerium oleander, Common Oleander 
native to Mediterranean countries, 
meaning ass-catcher (because of its 
poisonous qualities). Humphrey Gil- 
bert-Carter, in his 'Glossary of the 
British Flora', refers to his 'Guide to 
Cambridge Botanic Gardens' (1922), 
where he gives, in the relevant scripts, 
the names, all meaning 'ass-poison' for 
the oleander in Arabic, Persian and 
Italian (the last-named being 'ammazzo 
l'asino'), and gives the Sanskrit name, 
meaning 'horse-killer', for Indian 
Oleander (N. odor urn). The generic 
name Onagra, from which comes the 
family name Onagraceae to which 
Oenothera belongs, is a superseded 
synonym for this genus of the wholly 

American Evening Primroses, three 
species of which are successful intro- 
ductions to Victoria (of a total of 80). 
Onagra means the onager, or wild 
ass; Anogra, its anagram, is another 
synonym for Oenothera. Johnson and 
H. A. Smith derive Oenothera from Gk 
oinos, wine, thera, pursuing or im- 
bibing; claiming that the roots of an 
allied plant were regarded by the 
Romans as an incentive to drinking. 
A. W. Smith and Stearn give an alter- 
native derivation from oinos, wine; 
thera, booty, but reject it in favour of 
ass-hunter or ass-beast (Gk ther, 
wild beast), and mention that the name 
originally had nothing to do with the 
yellow-flowered American plants to 
which the name was transferred. 

Olax. Medieval Lat olax, odorous, ill- 
smelling; because the wood of some 
Asian species has an unpleasant odour. 
Victoria's sole species, O. strieta, is 
confined in this State to far East 
Gippsland, but another species is in 
S.A. and W.A. The genus is tropical, 
with 55 species, and gives its name to 
the family Olacaceae. 

*01ea. The classical Lat name of the 
Olive, *0. europaea, which is found 
wild in some places, such as Studley 
Park, Kew. The genus gives its name 
to family Oleaceae. Olive trees are 
dominant in many Mediterranean 

Olearia. Often considered to be from 
Lat generic name, Olea, from the re- 
semblance of the leaves of the N.S.W. 
species O. dentata named by Moench 
when he set up the genus in 1802, to 
those of the olive. However, it is al- 
most certain that Moench named it in 
honour of Adam Olschlager (1603- 
1671), whose name was latinized as 
Olearius, author of a flora of Halle 
(Germany). Professor J. F. Brechen- 
macher, in his 'Etymologisches Worter- 



buch der Deutschen Familiennamen' 
(Etymological Dictionary of German 
Surnames), mentions, under the entry 
Olearius, that this name was adopted 
and written in this way by Johann 
Olschlager (1546-1623), Superintendent 
of Halle, because his father (real name 
Coppermann) had been an oil-presser 
or oil-miller (Olschlager) at Wesel. Oil 
came not from olives, but from lin- 
seed, poppies, rape and nuts, butter 
being used for cooking. So our genus 
is linked with oil through this deriva- 
tion also; the name Olea was given to 
the olive by the Romans because of 
the oil content (oleo, to smell), though 
the word came to them from Greek 
elaia, the olive (from leios, smooth). 
Victoria has 37 species, all known as 
daisy-bushes, with different adjectives, 
one of them, O. argophylla, Musk 
Daisy-bush, being the fragrant species 
referred to in the early literature and 
still in popular parlance as musk (true 
musk is Mimulus moschatus in the 
plant world, and in the animal world 
the odoriferous secretion of the musk- 
deer, musk-rat, musk-ox, etc.). The 
family of course is Compositae. 
Olearia should be pronounced in five 
syllables, not four as though honour- 
ing a mythical Irishman O'Leary! 

Omphacomeria. Gk omphakos, sour, 
unripe, bitter (omphakias, wine made 
from unripe grapes); meros, a part; 
because the obovate drupes are in- 
tensely acid, though edible. The genus 
has only a few characters separating 
it from the other sour-bush genus, 
Choretrum, in family Santalaceae. Our 
species, O. acerba, Leafless Sour-bush, 
has a specific name meaning tart (cf. 

Omphalolappula. A monotypic genus 
set up by Brand in 1931 because the 
nutlets are intermediate in character 

between those of Omphalodes and 
Lappula. Omphalodes, a genus from 
Eurasia and Mexico, was named be- 
cause the nutlet hollowed out on one 
side resembles the human navel, and 
Lappula means little burr (Gk 
omphalos, navel; Lat lappa, burr). O. 
concava, Burr Stickseed, was named 
by F. Mueller first as a species of 
Echinospermum, then of Lappula. It 
is in family Boraginaceae. 

*Ononis. The classical Gk name of a 
plant in Dioscorides, probably a rest- 
harrow, but not our introduced 
species, *0. repens, Restharrow, which 
Polunin states is not native to Greece; 
our other species, *0. spinosa, Spiny 
Restharrow, however, is (he lists seven 
species for Europe). Family Papilio- 
naceae. Restharrow means 'arrest- 
harrow', because its tough roots stop 
the harrow. 

*Onopordum. Latinized form of Gk 
onopordon, from onos, ass; porde, 
fart, breaking wind (cf. Lycoperdon). 
Linnaeus, 1753, used the form in -um, 
so Hill's Onopordon is invalid. One of 
our three species is *0. acanthium, 
Scotch Thistle, for which Willis pre- 
fers the common name Heraldic 
Thistle, because it is used in heraldry 
and is thought to have been introduced 
to Scotland rather than being a 
genuine native. The genus is in family 

Opercularia. Lat operculum, a lid, 
cover; alluding to the lid of each par- 
tial fruiting head. It is an Australian 
endemic genus of family Rubiaceae, 
and Victoria's six species are all known 
as different kinds of stinkweed. (The 
name Stinkweed is used in U.S.A. for 
Diplo taxis muralis in Cruciferae.) 

(To be continued) 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Life History and Biology of a Snail 

Part 2. Protection, Movement and Feeding 

by Brian J. Smith* 

Land snails are soft bodied animals 
protected from predators and the 
rigors of the hostile terrestrial environ- 
ment by a hard external shell into 
which they can completely withdraw. 

The shell 

The shell is calcareous in nature, 
being made up of calcium/magnesium 
carbonate laid down by the leading 
or outer edge of the mantle. Thus it 
grows by adding on extra material to 
the aperture lip only and to form the 
shape, sculpture and colour pattern of 
the shell. The snail can repair small 
breaks or areas of damage in the body 
or outer whorl of the shell, but loses 
this ability the further away from the 
mantle edge the break occurs. Besides 
providing physical protection for the 
soft body of the snail, the shell gives 
protection from predators in providing 
camouflage by its colour pattern and 

The pattern and sculpture are 

Figure 1. Scanning electron microscope 
picture of Thryasona elenescens from 
Geelong. (12x) 

species specific and under genetic con- 
trol. Colour pattern in particular can 
have considerable variation in some 
species with local population variants 
showing interesting environmental 
modification. The classical work on 
this was carried out in Britain where 
populations of dark shells were shown 
to have a protective advantage in deep 
shadow hedge-row situations; while 
populations of light shells of the same 
species fared better in sand-dune habi- 
tats; the selecting factor being pre- 
dation by birds in each case. 

The most elaborate microsculpture 
on shells in south-eastern Australia is 
seen in the minute "endodontoid" 
snails (Fig. 1). This complex sculpture 
may have a function in relation to sur- 
face water in cracks in logs, but noth- 
ing is really known about this. 

The body of the snail occupies the 
whole of the shell (see Fig. 2 in Part 1 
of this series, Vic. Nat. 93(4): 130). 
The shell is coiled upon itself for 
added protection and is the best way 
to keep the weight of the body and its 
centre of gravity in the right place in 
relation to the foot on which locomo- 
tion occurs. This shell coiling is also 
under genetic control and occasionally 
odd growth abnormalities can occur. 


Snails move by a progression of 
muscular waves of contraction along 
the sole of the foot. This is assisted by 
the secretion of a lubricating and pro- 
tecting mucus from the pedal gland at 

*Curator of Invertebrates, 
National Museum of Victoria. 



the front of the foot creating the 
widely known slime trail. The wave 
movement of the foot combined with 
the protecting mucus enables the snail 
to traverse rough surfaces that might 
otherwise damage the animal. 

Mucus is also secreted by the 
general body surface to conserve mois- 
ture and prevent dessication, and by 
the foot and mantle edge for lubrica- 
tion in feeding. 


One of the unique structures, charac- 
teristic of the phylum Mollusca and 
possessed by five out of the six classes 
of living molluscs, is the possession 
of a radula. This is the basic feeding 
organ of all land snails and consists of 
a ribbon-like membrane in the buccal 
cavity of the snail on which are rows 
of hard radula teeth. This structure is 
carried on a moveable cartilage-like 
base and is moved over that base by a 
series of muscles to act like a rasp or 
file to break-down the food and carry 
it into the mouth (Fig. 2). 

When feeding, the entire cartilage 
base, muscles and radula are projected 
through the mouth. The radula teeth 
are arranged in rows and are con- 
tinuously being worn away at the 
front as indicated in the drawing, and 

new teeth are being formed at the 
back by the radula gland. As the front 
teeth become worn, they are replaced 
by the radula moving forward with 
new ones — rather like a conveyor 
belt. Throughout life the radula con- 
tinues to grow. 

Work on the common garden snail 
Helix aspersa has shown that the 
radula has about 180 rows of teeth 
with over 100 teeth per row and in the 
season of active growth and feeding 
the replacement rate of the radulae 
was over two rows of teeth per day. 

As is to be expected the number, 
form, shape and arrangement of the 
radula teeth are different in different 
species of snail. This difference is in- 
fluenced by two basic and sometimes 
conflicting factors. 

Firstly the type and structure of the 
radula teeth is dependent on the type 
of food eaten by the snail. Teeth can 
function as scrapers, rasps, particle 
catchers, lances for soft animal food 
and many other variations. Also there 
is often variation along the row with 
some teeth acting in a primary role 
of fragmenting the food; while other 
teeth, usually the lateral and marginal 
ones, act as secondary particle 
gatherers and other roles in the feed- 
ing stroke. 

Figure 2. Diagram 

of head of a snail 

showing the 

position of the 

radula. Drawing 

by Phyllis Plant. radu|a 



Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The other main influence on tooth 
type is the phylogeny of the species 
under study. Basic patterns of tooth 
arrangement give useful clues to super- 
family, family and generic placement 
and relationship and is used as an im- 
portant character in taxonomic studies 
of land snails. Two examples of dif- 
ferent tooth shape and form are given 
of Victorian land snails. The small 
rasping teeth of the herbivorous snail 
Helicarion sp. (Fig. 3) is contrasted 
to the long lance-shape teeth for hold- 
ing prey of earthworms or slugs as in 
the carnivorous snail Rhytida capil- 
lacea (Fig. 4). Because of the different 
food and because these two species 
belong to totally different family and 
super-family groupings, the shape of 
the teeth are totally different. 

Most snails also have a jaw which 
acts in conjunction with the radula in 
food gathering. Emptying into the 
buccal cavity are the pair of salivary 
glands which secrete mucus and prob- 
ably some enzymes to commence 
digestion of the food. The food sub- 
stances are then passed down the 
oesophagus into a large holding sack, 
the crop. This in turn leads to the 
stomach from where several blind- 
ending diverticulae lead into the diges- 

tive gland or liver. Digestion is both 
intra-cellular and extra-cellular by a 
complex battery of enzymes. 

One of the most unusual features 
found in some herbivorous snails is 
the production of a cellulase, an 
enzyme which will directly affect the 
breakdown of cellulose. Land snails 
are one of the very few types of ani- 
mals which produce this enzyme 
directly; even most herbivorous mam- 
mals such as cows and sheep have to 
rely on a cellulase produced for them 
by intestinal bacteria. Because of their 
cellulase, snail liver extracts were used 
in early commercial fibre manufactur- 
ing processes. 

After digesting processes have taken 
place the food residues are passed into 
the rectum and voided as faeces. 

Life duration 

The life of a snail is often limited to 
a year. A snail hatches when one 
whorl of the shell has developed, the 
size depending on the species; a newly 
hatched Helix aspersa is about 4 mm. 
If conditions are favourable, the snail 
will continue steady growth, and will 
mate and lay eggs within a year. It 
will survive only to complete the lay- 
ing of the last batch of eggs. But, if 

Figure 3. Scanning electron microscope 
picture of the radula of a herbivorous 
snail Helicarion sp from Gray, Tasmania. 


Figure 4. Scanning electron microscope 
picture of radula of a carnivorous snail 
Rhytida capillacea from the Hunter 
Valley, NSW. (54x) 


there is a period or periods of aestiva- 
tion, the snail might not mature for 
two or three seasons. 

A slug is fundamentally a snail with- 
out an external shell; some have a 
vestige o\' a shell internally. Lacking a 
shell that ean he sealed by epiphragms, 
the slug's aestivation is a matter oi' re- 
treating to a damp dark spot and re- 

tracting head and tail SO as to expose 
the least possible surface area. 

Unwelcome as they are to gardeners, 
snails form a vital part oi' the ecology, 
being instrumental in the breakdown 
oi' both living and dead plant material, 
and in turn forming part of the food 
chains oi' other animals in the en- 

Wolf Spider and her Eggs 

Sonic time ago some friends brought 
me a large female Wolf Spider Lycosa 
ramosa to photograph. After taking 
several pictures, 1 wondered how I could 
let it go without a predator getting it. As 
this spider lives in a hole in the ground, I 
drilled a live-eighth inch hole three or 
four inches deep in a well drained part oi' 
the lawn, plaeed the spicier near the hole 
and put a box upside down over the 
spider and hole to allow the spider to find 
the hole itself. 

Next morning I removed the box and 
found the spider had moved into the hole 
and had started to line the wall with silk. 

Occasionally I would observe it just 
below the mouth of the hole. One day, to 
my surprise, the spider was on the sur- 
faee outside the hole. A closer observa- 
tion revealed it had spun a little mat of 

silk about three-quarters of an inch in 
diameter and was laying eggs on it. When 
it had laid about 50 or 60, it gathered the 
edges of the mat together (as one gathers 
a handkerchief full of plums), started to 
produce more silk and bound the bundle 
into a spherical eggsaek which it carried 
into the hole. 

Further observations showed that when 
the sun was shining, the spider would 
hold the eggsaek in the sun at the mouth 
of the hole. 

1 had hoped to see the eggs hatch as 
this speeies of spider carries its young on 
the mother's back until they are old 
enough to fend for themselves. But sorry 
to say, before this happened I found the 
hole empty; apparently a predator wasp 
or bird had found my spider. 

Tan Morrison. 

Pecking order" in Satin Bower Birds 

Varying numbers oi' Satin Hower Birds 
frequent my garden and bird table from 
May to September. 

Usually six to twelve ean be seen at 
any one time, and it is interesting to see 
how the one mature blue male dominates 
the flock. He will not share the bird 
table and drives away up to half a do/en 
birds at onee - though in time he be- 
comes tired oi' perpetual challenges or is 
satisfied and Hies oil". The table is soon 
hidden by as many greedy snatching birds 
as ean erowd on to it. That does not last 
long; one or other oi' two which will be 

blue quite soon drive off the rest and 
feast in solitude. Only when they have 
gone may the rabble eat in peace. 

The almost mature male birds can be 
recognised by their pearly or pale grey 
beaks while the younger male birds and 
females have brown beaks. 

The bower, in a sheltered part oi' the 
garden, was built four years ago by a 
pearly-beaked bird who is now the only 
blue one in the iloek. He visits it com- 
paratively rarely now and it is used 
more by younger birds. 

Jl AN GrAl braith. Tyers 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Victorian Non-Marine Molluscs, No. 16 

by Brian J. Smith* 

Many of the molluscs introduced in- 
to Australia are pest species, the most 
widely known being the Common 
Garden Snail Helix aspersa. However 
the most widespread and devastating in 
their effect on gardens, crops and pas- 
ture, are three small to medium slugs 
belonging to the family Limacidae. 
These are Deroceras caruanae, Dero- 
ceras reticulatum and Lehmannia 
(Lehmannia) nyctelia. 

The genus Deroceras is typified by 
the body being spotted or without pat- 
tern but with no bands. The two 
species are both very common pasture 
and garden pests. 

Deroceras reticulatum (Muller, 
1774) Fig. 1. This is a medium-sized 
slug up to 50 mm in length, the body 
being typically a pale buff colour with 
dark brown to grey reticulations, 
sometimes so dense as to give a dark 
brown to grey appearance, sometimes 
with white calcareous-looking spots 
and reticulations. The body often ap- 
pears swollen and flaccid, the animal 

slow-moving and not very active. 
When the animal is disturbed, a milky 
white secretion is exuded all over the 

Deroceras caruanae (Pollonera, 
1891) Fig. 2. This is a smaller and 
much slimmer slug reaching about 
30-40 mm in length. It is typically light 
brown to grey in colour with an almost 
total lack of pattern. The body is 
cylindrical in shape with the head pro- 
truding a long way forward of the 
mantle. The slug is very active in be- 
haviour, displaying extremely rapid 
crawling, the body producing a non- 
viscous colourless mucus. It is a cryp- 
tic animal, being hard to see because 
of its size, colouration and its habit of 
nesting in crevices and the root sy- 
stems of plants. 

The genus Lehmannia has bands 
and spots on the body, and internally 
the rectum bears a long caecum. 

Lehmannia (Lehmannia) nyctelia 
(Bourguigrat, 1861) Fig. 3. This is a 
medium to large slug 50-60 mm in 
length characterized by longitudinal 
black bands on the body and mantle. 
Typically there are two lateral bands, 
but in some either one or two secon- 
dary bands occur towards the middle 
of the body. A median band can often 
be seen on the mantle. The body is 
usually pale buff to light brown, flaccid 
in nature, and the animal secretes a 
colourless mucus. The species is very 
common in cleared country and in 
suburban gardens, and lives under 
rocks or logs. 

All three species described above are 
common species in all the southern 
States of Australia where man has ex- 
tensively modified the environment. 

Fig. 1 Fig. 2 


Fig. 3 

* Curator of Invertebrates, 
National Museum of Victoria 


Live records for Victoria of the bat 
Pipistrellus tasmaniensis (Gould 1858) 

by Harold Parnaby* 

The Tasmanian Pipistrelle Pipistrel- 
lus tasmaniensis, one of the largest 
Australian vespertilionids, has been 
recorded in Western Australia, Tas- 
mania, New South Wales (Iredale and 
Troughton 1934) and Queensland 
(Kirkpatrick 1966). 

There has been some confusion re- 
garding the species status in Victoria, 
perhaps resulting from Wakefield's re- 
port of sub-fossil material of this 
species from the Buchan caves 
(Wakefield 1967). In a tabulation of 
the distribution of Australian cave 
bats, Hamilton-Smith (1964) indicates 
the live occurrence of the species in 
this State, but this is a typographical 
error (Hamilton-Smith, pers. comm.). 
Ride (1970) lists the species as oc- 
curring in southern Victoria; however 
Wakefield, in an amendment of Ride's 
Victorian distribution data, states that 
it has "not been recorded living in 
Victoria" (Wakefield 1971). The in- 
clusion of the species in the Land 
Conservation Council's Report of the 
Melbourne Study Area (1973) appears 
to be baseless as none of the organisa- 
tions credited with supplying the data 
for the mammal list have any records 
of the species. Its inclusion in an ap- 
pended mammal list to the LCC's Re- 
port of the South Gippsland Study 
Area — District 1 (1972) is an error 
(Andrew Thornley, pers. comm.). 

Thus the Tasmanian Pipistrelle has 
only recently been recorded live in 
Victoria (Brunner et al 1976). This 
note gives some further details of that 
occurrence made available to the 
author by Mr. Alex Gilmore of the 
Fisheries and Wildlife Division, to- 
gether with reports of captures at two 
other locations. 

Daylesford, 1974-76 

A survey of the bat fauna within a 
20 km radius of Daylesford (lat. 37° 
21' S, long. 144° 09' E) was under- 
taken over a two-year period from 
early February 1974 to late February 
1976 and resulted in 54 pipistrelle cap- 
tures (36 $ and 18 $ which were not 
individually marked). Five of these 
speciments are preserved and regis- 
tered in the National Museum of Vic- 
toria as C. 11488 8, C. 11489 $, 
C 16009 9, C. 16011 $ and C. 16151 9. 

I began the survey by experimenting 
with a method of capturing bats that 
involved stretching strands of fishing 
line across a dam several cm above 
the water surface, or over concrete 
water tanks 4.25 by 4.25 metres which 
protruded about a metre above the 
ground. The lines used were monofila- 
ment nylon fishing line ranging in 
diameter from 0.1 to 0.2 mm (as 
stated by the manufacturers), and 
with breaking strain from about 0.8 to 
1.5 kg. 

On 9 February 1974, two separate 
parallel lines 3 to 4 cm above the 
water and perhaps a metre apart were 
stretched across a tank on the south 
side of Currays Hill, 6.4 km east of 
Daylesford. Of the many bats which 
collided with these lines during the 
2i hours following dusk, 10 crashed 
into the water and were captured: 
6 female Eptesicus pumilus, 2 female 
Chalinolobus morio, and 2 Pipis- 
trellus tasmaniensis (C. 11488 and 
C. 11489) which were sent to 
Mr J.McKean (CSIRO Division of 
Wildlife Research) who confirmed the 
identification. This was the second 

* 101 Brougham Street, Kew 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

night during which I had tried the 
method. The first time was at the 
same tank on 2 February, and using 
one line a male Eptesicus was 

On subsequent occasions, using mist 
nets in addition to the line method, 
the pipistrelle accounted for about 
25% of the total of 219 captures, 
while Eptesicus accounted for 43%, 
and the remaining 5 species combined, 
32%. Despite the possible selective- 
ness in these techniques, I consider 
the pipistrelle to be one of the com- 
moner species in the area. 

Pipistrelles were captured at 4 tanks 
and 10 dams in all three forest types 
defined by the LCC Report (1973). 
Habitat preference could not be de- 
termined due to the great disparity in 
efficiency of the techniques when used 
on tanks compared with dams which 
were less successful; the tanks were in 
forest type III, the dams in the other 
two forest types. 

The LCC vegetation classification is 
a modification of Specht's vegetation 
system (LCC, 1973: 63) and open 
forest I, II, and III are rough equiva- 
lents of Specht's low open forest, open 
forest and tall open forest respec- 

Vegetation and precipitation in the 
Daylesford region are described and 
mapped by the LCC (1973): 

Open forest III. Forest 28 to 40 
metres in height, of Messmate Euca- 
lyptus hbliqua and Narrow-leaved 
peppermint often in association with 
Candlebark E.rubida and Manna Gum 
E.viminalis, typically with a shrubby 
understory and Forest Wire-grass 
Tetarrhena juncea. It occurs along 
the divide which is commonly of 600 
to 800 metres elevation and around 
1,000 mm rainfall. 

Open forest II. Forest 15 to 28 
metres in height and of similar species 
composition to open forest III but 
with an understory of low open shrubs 

and tussock grass. Its main occurrence 
is on sites intermediate in elevation 
and rainfall, and in addition is inter- 
spersed with type III over much of 
the divide, and also occurs on the 
better sites to the north of Daylesford. 

Open forest I. Forest less than 15 
metres in height of Red Stringybark 
E.macrorrhyncha, Messmate, Long- 
leaved Box, Red Box E.polyanthemos, 
Grey Box E.microcarpa and Yellow 
Box E.melliodora, with a sparse 
ground cover of tussock grass often 
with low open shrubs. Open forest 1 is 
found in the lowlands to the north of 
the area between Daylesford and 
Guildford where sites are much 
poorer, of 300 to 420 metres elevation 
and annual rainfall around 600 to 
700 mm. 

Ectoparasites were collected but 
await identification. 

Dartmouth Dam, 1975 

A specimen was obtained on 21 
April 1975 during a fauna survey of 
the Dartmouth Dam inundation area 
(lat. 36° 34' S, long. 147° 36' E) 
conducted by the Fisheries and Wild- 
life Division (Thomas and Gilmore 
1976 in press). It was shot at dusk by 
Alex Gilmore in a clearing adjacent 
to the Dart River one kilometre up- 
stream from its junction with the 
Mitta Mitta River, and is preserved 
in spirit as C. 14845 in the National 
Museum of Victoria. This specimen is 
a female with undeveloped teats and 
and forearm measurement of 50 mm. 

Vegetation along the river consists 
of Northern Swamp Gum Eucalyptus 
camphora and thickets of Leptosper- 
mum phylicoides and L. brevipes with 
low open forest (Specht, 1970) of 
Narrow-leaved Peppermint E. radiata 
on the adjoining river flats, and 
Broad-leaved Peppermint E. dives and 
Long-leaved Box E. goniocalyx on the 
surrounding hills. 

The elevation of the site is approxi- 

September /October 


mately 305 metres and average annual 
rainfall about 1 ,200 mm. 

Dargo, 1976 

An adult male pipistrelle was cap- 
tured on 2 January 1976 on the Dargo 
High Plains by Boyde Wykes of 
Zoology Department, Monash Univer- 
sity and is lodged with the National 
Museum as C. 16131. It was caught in 
one of several mist nets erected 
around a dam on the Dargo High 
Plains Road, 33 km north from Dargo 
(lat. 37° 28' S, long. 147° 15' E). 
Other species netted at the same site 
on this and the previous night were 
released and identified by Boyde 
Wykes as Nyctophilus geoffroyi, 
N.timoriensis, Eptesicus pumilus and 
Chalinolobus morio. The dam ap- 
peared to be the only water source in 
the area. 

No site details are available. 

Forearm length and 
identifying characteristics 

Descriptions of the pipistrelle in 
the literature are mostly incomplete. 
Dobson (1878) gave probably the most 
thorough diagnosis (under Vesperugo 
krefftii), and Troughton (in Le Souef 
and Burrell 1926) was also useful. 
Tate (1942) was primarily concerned 
with cranial and dental features. Lord 
and Scott (1924) give the forearm 
length as 45 mm, apparently based on 
Dobson. However, Dobson gives only 
one forearm measurement of 1.9 
inches (48 mm) for a mainland speci- 
men. Four female specimens from 
Tasmania in the Queen Victoria 
Museum, gave forearms of 48 mm 
and 50 mm (measured fresh prior to 
skinning), and 47 mm and 48.5 mm 
for bats that had been in spirit for 
about 3 months (R. H. Green, pers. 

At Daylesford bats were not indi- 
vidually marked on release but the 
forearm lengths of 29 female cap- 

tures ranged from 49-53.5 mm with 
mean 51 mm, and 15 male captures 
had a range of 49-53 mm and again 
a mean of 51 mm. 

When attempting to identify a pipi- 
strelle one should consider a large 
vespertilionid with the snout naked 
anterior to the eyes, and slender ears 
that project well above the fur. The 
ears have a characteristic notch on 
the outer margin near the tip (see 
cover photograph). While the drawing 
in Ride (1970: 172) exhibits the naked 
snout and long projecting ears, the 
ear notch is unfortunately not visible 
due to the angle from which it has 
been drawn. 

There are three south-eastern Aus- 
tralian Vespertilionidae of comparable 
size to the pipistrelle. The Bent-wing 
Bat Miniopterus schreibersii and 
Goulds Bat Chalinolobus gouldii are 
readily distinguished by their ears 
which are about as broad as long, 
and do not project far above the fur. 
The Bent-wing is also distinguished 
by the characteristic wing fold of the 
third digit. According to Troughton 
(1967) the species with which the 
pipistrelle is most likely to be con- 
fused is the Broad-nosed Bat Nycti- 
ccius rueppellii. I have not seen live 
specimens of the latter but its ex- 
ternal characteristics are apparently 

Diagram showing minute upper second 
incisor in Pipistrellus (left), which is 
absent in Nycticeius (right). 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

similar to P.tasmaniensis. The distin- 
guishing feature generally cited in the 
literature is the absence of the minute 
second upper incisor tooth in Nycti- 
ceius (see diagram). 


I am grateful for assistance given by 
R. M. Warneke of the Fisheries and 
Wildlife Division, and E. Hamilton- 
Smith, for reading the manuscript and 
their resulting suggestions, and to 
J. M. Dixon of the National Museum 
for checking the draft and allowing 
access to the collections. Drawing 
equipment was loaned by Lee Ahere. 
Boyde Wykes of Monash University 
and Sandy Gilmore of the Fisheries 
and Wildlife Division kindly supplied 
information concerning their locality 
records. The fine photograph was taken 
by Alan Hartup of Newstead. 


Brunner, H., R. L. Amor and P. L. Stevens 
(1976). The use of predator scat analysis 
in a mammal survey at Dartmouth in 
north-eastern Victoria. Australian Wildlife 
Research 3 (1): 85-90. 

Dobson, G. E. (1878). Catalogue of the 
Chiroptera in the collection of the British 
Museum. British Museum, London. 

Hamilton-Smith, E. (1964). Australian Cave 
Bats. A provisional guide to identification. 
CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research, 

Iredale. T. and E. Troughton (1934). A 
checklist of the mammals recorded from 
Australia. Mem. Aust. Mus. 6: 1-122. 
Kirkpatrick, T. H. (1966). Mammals, birds 
and reptiles of the Warwick District, 
Queensland. 1 Introduction and mam- 
mals. Qld. Journal Agric. and Animal 
Sciences 23: 591-8. 
Land Conservation Council (1972). Report 
on the South Gippsland Study Area — 
District 1. 
Land Conservation Council (1973). Report 

on the Melbourne Study Area. 
Lord, C. E. and H. H. Scott (1924). A 
synopsis of the vertebrate animals of 
Tasmania. Oldham, Beddome and 
Meredith, Hobart. 
Le Souef, A. S. and H. Burrell (1926). The 
wild animals of Australasia. With a chap- 
ter on bats by Ellis Le G. Troughton. 
Harrup and Co., London. 
Ride, W. D. (1970). A guide to the native 
mammals of Australia. Oxford University 
Press, Melbourne. 
Specht, R. L. (1970). Vegetation, in "The 
Australian Environment". Ed. G. W. 
Leeper. CSIRO and Melbourne University 
Tate, G. H. H. (1942). Results of the Arch- 
bold Expeditions No. 47. Reviews of the 
vespertilionine bats, with special attention 
to genera and species of the Archbold 
Collections. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. 
80: 221-297. 
Thomas, D. J. and A. M. Gilmore (1976 in 
press). The terrestrial vertebrate fauna 
from the Dartmouth Dam Inundation 
Area. Australian Wildlife Research. 
Troughton, E. (1967). Furred Animals of 
Australia. Angus & Robertson, Sydney. 
9th Edition. 
Wakefield, N. A. (1967). Mammal bones in 
the Buchan District. Vic. Nat. 84(7): 
Wakefield, N. A. (1971). Distribution data 
of Victorian mammals. Vic. Nat. 88(2): 
bold Expeditions Nu. 47. Reviews of the 

Winner of 1976 Natural History Medallion 

The Natural History Medallion for 
1976 has been awarded to Winifred M. 
Curtis, M.Sc, Ph.D.(Lond.), F.L.S. 
Dr. Curtis was first nominated for the 
award in 1972 by the Society for Grow- 
ing Australian Plants (Tasmanian 
Region), and the nomination was sup- 
ported in subsequent years by the North 
East Tasmania Field Naturalists' Club 
and the Latrobe Valley Field Naturalists' 
Club. This is the thirty-sixth year of the 

award and the first time it has gone to 
a Tasmanian. 

Dr. Curtis was for many years lecturer 
in Botany at the University of Tasmania 
and is a leading authority on that State's 
flora. Her publications include "A Stu- 
dent's Flora of Tasmania", and the text 
which accompanies Margaret Stones' 
paintings in "The Endemic Flora of Tas- 
mania" of which five volumes have been 



Palaeo-ecology of Pebbles 

Beach pebbles and stream pebbles can be distinguished and the 
presence of one or the other can help determine the origin of sediments 

by K. N. Bell 

On the basis of a study of water- 
washed pebbles in Malaya, Lenk- 
Chevitch (1959) suggested that beach- 
washed and stream-washed pebbles had 
easily distinguishable characteristics. 
This is a note to describe the results 
of a similar study on some Victorian 

If such pebbles can be easily dis- 
tinguished then it would be possible to 
use that fact in the study of pebble 
beds in geological strata to show their 

Pebble Characteristics 

(i) Profile: A pebble has three axes 
A, B, C, the longest, medium and 
shortest axes respectively (Fig. 1). 
These axes may or may not be mutu- 
ally perpendicular, and are not con- 
current. It is possible therefore to 
have three profiles or cross-sections of 
the pebble — AB profile which is per- 
pendicular to the C-axis, and BC and 
AC profiles. 

Only the AB profile has been stu- 
died here. 

(ii) Geometrical Lines: 

(a) Apical line — the longest straight 
line which can be drawn on the cross- 
section, i.e. the A axis in the AB pro- 

(b) Bisectrix - - usually a curved 
line. It is plotted by joining the mid- 

points of the width chords of the pro- 
file considered. These chords are at 
right angles to the apical line. Lenk- 
Chevitch found that for beach pebbles 
the bisectrix lies on one side of the 
apical line, whereas for stream pebbles 
the bisectrix cuts the apical line at 
least once. 

(iii) Fractional Departure — Sch- 
leiger (1969) added to the theory of 
pebbles by defining the fractional de- 
parture, D', between the apical line 

and the bisectrix as D' = — where T is 

the maximum distance between the 
apical line and the bisectrix and B is 
the maximum width of the pebble in 
the profile being considered. If D' is 
less than 0.05, the pebble is regarded 
as symmetrical, S type. If D' is greater 
than 0.05, the pebble is asymmetrical, 
As type if the bisectrix does not cut 
the apical line (Fig. 2), or Asym- 
metrical, Ds type if the bisectrix cuts 
the apical line at least once (Fig. 3). 

Thus the As type corresponds with 
the beach pebble and the Ds type with 
the stream pebble. 


Pebbles were collected for study 
from Indented Heads, Port Phillip Bay 
(marine pebbles); Morrison's, Moora- 
bool River (stream pebbles) and from 

About 100 non-cracked and unsplin- 
tered pebbles were selected, in size 
about 3-10 cm longest diameter. These 
were photographed on graph-paper to 

*22 Mallaluka Avenue, Ocean Grove. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 



give the AB profile. On the photo- 
graphs each apical line and bisectrix 
were drawn and the fractional depar- 
ture then calculated for each pebble. 


The table shows the results found 
for pebbles from Indented Heads and 
the Moorabool River. 

It was found that As type pebbles 
were dominant in the marine sample 
and the Ds type in the river sample. 
In neither case were the S type pebbles 

very common. This is the same result 
as Lenk-Chevitch found. 

As it is possible to check upon the 
origin of pebble shape it becomes fea- 
sible to use this fact in palaeo-eco- 
logical studies of sediments where 
fossil organisms may not be present. 
With this in mind pebbles were col- 
lected and measured from a gravel pit 
at Steiglitz. As shown in the table, 
the percentage of each pebble type 
present at Steiglitz bears a closer re- 
semblance to those of the river-worn 
than to the ocean-worn pebbles. So we 
can conclude that the gravels about 
Steiglitz are river deposits. 


Locality A s 



Indented Heads 44% 



Moorabool River 387r 



Steiglitz 317c 




Lenk-Chevitch, P., 1959. "Beach and Stream 

Pebbles", /. Geol. 67(1): 103. 
Schleiger, N. W., 1969. "Pebble Shape and 

Roundness in Relation to Environment." 

Lab-Talk, Feb., p. 10. 

Increase of the Cape Barren Goose 

When seeking back issues of "The 
Victorian Naturalist" which contain in- 
formation on Big Green Island, a reader 
supplied up-to-date news about some of 
its bird life. (In spite of the prefix "Big", 
the island has an area of less than two 
square miles; it is about two miles west 
of Flinders Island in the Furneaux 

Since purchasing the property four 
years ago, Mr. John Nield reports that 
Cape Barren Geese are increasing in 
numbers and are in no danger of ex- 
tinction. In previous years, rarely were 
more than 30 geese seen on the island. 
Now, Mr. Nield estimates that there are 

up to 400 at any one time, although 
there might be as few as 50 — according 
to the green feed available. Sometimes, 
with the quantity of droppings, parts of 
the property look like a fowlyard. Of 
course they affect the sheep carrying 
capacity, and many farmers regard the 
Cape Barren Goose as a pest and ap- 
proaching plague proportions. 

Mr. Nield also reported on the preda- 
tion of Mutton Birds by Pacific Gulls. 
The gulls frequently raid the Mutton 
Bird nest sites, especially in the early 
mornings. They take anything they can 
reach — eggs and young birds. 



Life History of a Gall Fly on Eucalypts 


Editor's Note. Intrigued by Ken Strong's account of Gall Flies in our April issue, a 
reader brought attention to the following article. It is a short extract from "Galls on 
Eucalyptus Trees" published in the "Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New 
South Wales", Vol. LXII, Parts 3-4, 1937, and is reprinted here by permission of that 
Society. The complete article is available in our F.N.C.V. library. 

There are many species of Fergu- 
sonina flies which attack Eucalyptus 
trees, and all are associated in the galls 
with nematodes. The fly which causes 
the galls on E. macrorrhyncha was 
studied most intensively, so the life 
history of that fly is presented here. 

Nematodes accompany fly eggs 
laid in young flower buds 

Adult flies emerge from the galls in 
summer, and the females, after mat- 
ing, proceed to lay eggs in the young 
flower-buds which are appearing at 
that time. With each egg, any num- 
ber of larval nematodes from one to 
fifty is passed into the cavity between 
the operculum and the floor of the 
inside of the bud. Many eggs may be 
laid in the same bud by a single fly or 
by several flies, and as many as 74 
eggs and 227 nematode larvae have 
been found in a single bud. 

Embryonic development within the 
egg of the fly proceeds during the next 
six weeks (eggs which were laid on 
15th December hatched on 1st Feb- 
ruary). During that period the larval 
nematodes feed vigorously on the pri- 
mordia of the stamens and cause a 
rapid proliferation of cells which form 
irregular masses inside the galled bud. 

On hatching, the fly larvae make 
their way between two contiguous 
masses of cells and tear out small 
crypts in which to lie. The larval 
nematodes join them in their several 

crypts and develop rapidly to the 
adult stage. The nematodes of that 
generation are all parthenogenetic 
females which lay eggs in the gall 
cavity alongside the fly larva, with 
which they lie in contact. 

The fly larva passes through three 
instars, all in the crypt inside the 
galled bud, obtaining its food from the 
plant cells surrounding it. During the 
first and second instars it feeds on the 
gelatinous cell-sap, some of which 
oozes from the cells after they have 
been punctured by the stylets of the 
nematodes. The third instar larva tears 
down the walls of the cavity in which 
it lies and feeds on the ruptured cells. 

Female nematodes in fly pupae 

The nematodes breed parthenogene- 
tically in the cavity during the larval 
life of the fly without harming it in 
any way; males appear in numbers in 
the autumn and winter, and when the 
female fly larva is about to pupate, 
two fertilized female nematodes enter 
its body cavity, probably through the 
skin. There, during the pupal period 
of the fly, the female nematodes 
change from the free-living form to a 
much enlarged parasitic form which 
has no stylet or gut, the whole of its 
internal space being filled by a much 
enlarged ovary. Male flies are never 
parasitized in this way by the nema- 
todes, female flies invariably so. 

By the time the adult female fly 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

emerges, the parasitic nematodes are 
discharging large numbers of segment- 
ing eggs inside its body cavity. On 
hatching, larval nematodes make their 
way to the ovary of the fly, penetrate 
into the oviduct, and there await the 
passage of an egg down the chitinous 
ovipositor, whence they accompany it 
into the young flower-bud to start the 
cycle anew. 

This life history can be taken in its 
broad outlines as typical for the whole 
series of flies. The time of year when 
adults emerge and the point of the 
tree attacked vary, but young growing 
tissue is always selected by the flies for 
oviposition, and the nematode larvae 
which are always deposited with the 
eggs of the fly are active before the 
eggs hatch. 

Blackburn Lake Classified by the National Trust 

As well as Blackburn Lake the 
Classification includes Jeffery Street 
and some other streets further west 
that are known as the "Bellbird 
Streets". In addition, two nearby 
small areas have been Recorded. 

Classification means ". . . those 
parts of the physical environment, both 
natural and man-made, which in the 
Trust's view are essential to the heri- 
tage of Australia and which must be 
preserved." Recorded areas are those 
". . . which contribute to the heritage 
of Australia and whose preservation is 

In its citation, the Trust describes 
the area as an oasis in suburbia. The 
lake and its environs remain largely in 
their natural condition, providing a 
haven for more than 165 bird species. 
The area is renowned for its Bell 
Miners, for a breeding colony of 
Regent Honey-eaters, as a resting 
place for certain migratory birds 
(Rufous Fantail, Satin Fly-catcher, 
etc.) and for large numbers of water- 
fowl, many breeding. The second Vic- 
torian recording of the Koel was in 
the Lake Reserve in 1976. 

The streets extending outwards 
from the lake are an integral part of 
the ecology of the lake area, being 
corridors of movement for birds. 

These private streets have resisted the 
pressures of normal street-making re- 
quirements and retain a quiet, almost 
rural character unique in Melbourne. 
They demonstrate an excellent integra- 
tion between the natural and man- 
made environments. The natural vege- 
tation, bird life and informal roads 
and gardens combine to provide a rare 
example of rus in urbe. 

The streets vary greatly in quality. 
Jeffery and Linum Streets are the 
most consistent and unified, but in 
spite of faults the area has an overall 
"sense of place". 

The lake area also varies in quality. 
At its worst there are large areas 
where sheet erosion has resulted from 
intensive use around barbecues. At its 
best there are tranquil winding tracks 
passing through dense indigenous 
forest. Regeneration is being success- 
fully undertaken by sensitive manage- 
mrnt operated by local residents. 

The two Recorded areas do not 
have high aesthetic value. However, 
they both have potential for sensitive 
development compatible with the 
general character of the Classified 

Interested readers should apply to 
the National Trust for further infor- 
mation of this newly Classified area. 



Recent Fossil Discoveries in Victoria 

Five late Cenzoic fossil marsupial sites in Victoria: a progress report 

by Thomas H. V. Rich* 


The history of Australia's unique 
mammals and birds begins with a few 
feathers and fleas found at Koonwarra 
in deposits of early Cretaceous age, 
about 120m.y.B.P. (m.y.B.P. = million 
years Before Present) (Waldman, 
1971). It is thought that the fleas could 
only have lived as ectoparasites of 
mammals; hence mammals are thought 
to have been present by this time. 

From then until about the beginning 
of the Miocene, approximately 20 
m.y.B.P., the only record of these 
groups are penguins and cetacean re- 
mains from a few areas, plus some 
rare enigmatic traces of what could 
be land birds. Until the beginning of 
the Miocene, therefore, the fossil re- 
cord is virtually mute about even the 
most general aspects of the evolution 
of terrestrial mammals and birds in 
Australia. However, in at least a pre- 
liminary fashion based on the fossil 
record, it is now possible to chronicle 
the evolutionary events after 20 

Lancef ield 

Fig. 1. Five fossil marsupial sites in Vic- 
toria that are currently being studied. 

m.y.B.P. that affected the higher ter- 
restrial vertebrates of Australia. 

That this comparatively detailed 
history of land mammals and birds 
can be constructed only for the last 
one-sixth or less of the time these 
groups have been in Australia, means 
that much remains to be done by 
vertebrate palaeontologists to shed 
light on the evolutionary events that 
occurred there. 

By 20 m.y.B.P. all the major groups 
of marsupials and birds had differen- 
tiated. Therefore, what the fossil evi- 
dence can now shed light on are the 
phyletic relationships within some of 
the groups best represented in the 
fossil record. Questions of a broader 
nature concerning relationships receive 
little useful information from fossil 
evidence simply because the events of 
interest took place long before the 
record begins. 

Other major questions that a de- 
tailed understanding of this earlier 
history could throw light upon (were it 
available) are the places of origin and 
time of entry into or migration from 
Australia of the various birds and 
mammals — questions that intrigued 
biogeographers before the time of 
Wallace. Recent reviews of these ques- 
tions show that controversy still exists 
(Lillegraven, 1974; P. Rich, 1975; Ted- 
ford 1974). 

To answer these questions properly 
will require the discovery of many new 
fossil sites: both older sites than the 
20 m.y.B.P. barrier beyond which our 

* Curator of Palaeontology 
National Museum of Victoria 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

understanding at present is merely that 
the groups existed, and younger sites 
in order to be able to reline the 
general outline that now exists. In 
addition, previously known sites must 
be re-examined to increase knowledge 

Of their fossil forms, and to reline the 
age estimate for the localities so that 
the order o\' events is more accurately 

What follows is a summary oi' cur- 
rent activities o[ the Department oi' 
Palaeontology, National Museum o\' 
Victoria, directed at furthering under- 
standing o\ % this history. Several other 
organisations are involved in these 
projects to various degrees. Much oi' 
what is written in the paragraphs be- 
low is ()[ a preliminary nature and 
subject to revision and refinement with 
further work. None o\' these projects 
are finished or ready for definitive 
treatment yet. The unanswered ques- 
tions are discussed as well as the rela- 
tively linn conclusions, for in the 
former lie the most fertile ground for 
future research. 


In October 1975, Mr Greg Sack oi 
Hawthorn, Victoria, when on a visit to 

the Batesford Quarry o\' Australia 
Portland Cement ltd, near (ieelong, 
discovered the left and right mandibles 
o\' a Zygomaturus Sp, a member o\ the 
family Diprotodontidae, National 
Museum o\' Victoria P42530. Both 
mandibles had Mi! i preserved, unfor- 
tunately in an extremely advanced 
stale o\' wear preventing a more pre- 
cise identification. Measurements in- 
dicate thai this individual is as large as 
the largest available specimens of the 
Pleistocene Zygomaturus trilobus and 
the Pliocene Zygomaturus keani, the 

largest o\' the recognized species in the 


Where did the enclosing malnx eome 


During (he course o\' quarrying acti- 
vity, the block o\' matrix in which the 
specimen occurred was moved ill least 
100 metres to the place it was found 

on the quarry floor by Mr Sack. That 

Fig. 2. I ,ateral view 
)i right mandible of 
Zygomaturus sp. 
From i Ik- Batesford 
Quarry of Australian 
Portland Cement 
! ,id near ( reelong, 
Victoria. Approx. 
I ] cm long. 
NMV P42530. 

Fig. I. ( Irown or 

occlusal view of 
Same specimen as 

figure 2. 



it survived the action of the earth- 
moving equipment at all was an in- 
credible hit of good luck. Unfortu- 
nately, this displacement means that 
the original location of the specimen 
can never he established with certainty. 

However, circumstantial evidence 
strongly suggests that it came from a 
fissure in the Batesford Limestone. 
Several such fissures have heen un- 
covered over the years in the process 
of excavating the Batesford Limestone 
for cement. Blocks from that unit are 
found in the fissures, together with 
large contorted slahs from the over- 
lying Fyansford Formation, and a 
third lithology seen nowhere else in 
the quarry hut the fissures. 

This third lithology is a black, silty 
clay distinguished from similar litho- 
logy in the lyansford Formation by a 
strong sulphur odour and the ahsence 
o\' finely comminuted marine fossils. 
Although the lyansford (lay is 
Characterized in its lower part as hav- 
ing sulphur present, no sample has 
heen found that is as strongly odori- 
ferous as this black silty clay. In this 
unique lithology occur the only bone 
fragments thus far found in situ in 
the fissures, and a similar matrix was 
adhering to the Zygomaturus man- 
dibles when they were discovered. 
Both the isolated hone fragments from 
the fissures and the jaws have a strong 
odour o\' sulphur. The only other 
fossil hones found in the quarry are in 
the Batesford limestone and they are 
much lighter in colour and completely 
lack the sulphur smell. 

What is the age of the deposit? 

Directly above the lyansford For- 
mation over much of the Batesford 
Quarry is a basalt flow o[' the Newer 
Volcanics. Samples taken from the 
same flow about two kilometres to the 
south have heen dated by A/.iz-Ur- 
Rahman and McDougall (1972) at 
about 2 m.y.B.P., late Pliocene. Be- 

cause blocks of this basalt are not 
present in the fissure deposits, the fis- 
sures must have heen filled by the time 
o\' outpouring of the basalts, late Plio- 
cene. Conceivably, the fissures could 
have been filled any time after the 
deposition of the Fyansford Forma- 
tion which was completed by the 
Bairnsdalian, late Miocene (Abele et 
al, 1976). However, because the fis- 
sures were apparently open to the air 
rather than the sea, it is likely that 
they were not active until after the 
Cheltenhamian (about 7 m.y.B.P.) to 
Kalimnan, the age of the Moorabool 
Viaduct Sand (Abele et al, 1976) dur- 
ing or after which the sea finally with- 
drew from the area. 

Current efforts at this site are 
directed towards finding additional 
specimens that can he identified. 
Subsequent to the discovery of the 
mandibles, only scraps have been re- 
covered. This site has the potential 
for yielding a reasonably well-dated 
collection that could be a major refer- 
ence point if the maximum age can 
be more precisely determined and 
turns out to he close to the minimum 
o\' 2 m.y.B.P. As present, there is no 
assemblage oi' terrestrial vertebrate 
fossils with a firmly fixed age in the 
vicinity of 2 m.y.B.P. in Victoria and 
few in Australia. 

Ha eel ins Marsh 

This site is located about nine kilo- 
metres south-west of the town of 
Bacchus Marsh on an unnamed tri- 
butary oi' Parwan Creek. It was dis- 
covered by Miss Kerry Hein in a 
kaolin pit owned by her family. 

From this locality have come about 
fifteen skulls, twelve jaws, and 
numerous skeletal elements of small 
individuals referrahle to the genus 
Diprotodon. Only a few other sites 
have as many well-preserved speci- 
mens of this genus. The small size of 
the individuals is not simply because 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fig, 4. Right lateral 

view of skull of 

Diprotodon sp, from 

Bacchus Marsh, 
Victoria. Approx. 
66.5 em long. 

NMV P31299. 

lig. 5. Palatal view 
Of same specimen as 

in figure 4. 

the sample consists of juvenile animals 
only, for obvious adults with all teeth 
fully erupted and in a worn condition 
are present. Whether the size o\ the 
individuals warrants their being separ- 
ated as a distinct species from other 
specimens of Diprotodon must await 
detailed study. From this material it 
will be possible to extract information 
about the anatomy of Diprotodon that 
has never been described, such as the 
structure of the auditory region. Such 
information should prove useful in 
furthering our understanding of the 
relationships o\' this genus to other 
diprotodontids as well as other mar- 

The deposit from which the speci- 
mens came appears to be a channel or 
series of channels which have cut into 
an older kaolin deposit. These chan- 
nels, besides containing material re- 
worked from the kaolin deposits, have 
coarse quartz sands and blocks of 
basalt that were derived from a flow 
that caps the present surface through 

which the Parwan Creek is cut. A 
maximum date on the locality is pro 
vided by a sample of basalt collected 
about eight kilometres from the fossil 
site and presumably formed by the 
same volcanic episode that generated 
the blocks found in the channel de- 
posit. This sample has been radio- 
metrically dated at 4.03 ±0.04 my. HP 
(Aziz-Ur-Rahman and McDougall, 


Subsequent to the deposition ol' the 
fossiliferous sediments, the valley 
where the specimens occur has been 
eroded another fifty metres deeper. 
The time required for this erosional 
episode ov episodes has not yet been 
established, but dating it offers the 
only possibility at present to establish 
a minimum age for the fossils. The 
erosional episodes may have occurred 
during or immediately after periods of 
uplift along the Rowsley Fault which 
triggered downcutting by the Parwan 
(reek and its tributaries on the up- 
thrown block west of the fault. 



The swamp deposit 

At Lancefield there is an extremely 
rich deposit of fossil bones located in 
a swamp near the town park. Much 
effort has been expended during the 
past three summers by numerous per- 
sons connected with Monash Univer- 
sity, the Victorian Mines Department, 
Sydney University, University of Mel- 
bourne, the Institute of Aboriginal 
Studies and the National Museum of 
Victoria; they are attempting not only 
to excavate the fossil bones, but to 
understand the environment they ac- 
cumulated in and the mechanism or 
mechanisms that brought about such a 
great concentration of specimens. 

Most of the area excavated thus far 
appears to have been a swamp when 
the fossils were parts of living animals 
- not unlike the present swamp. All 
the animals that occur in the inferred 
swamp deposit were the size of a living 
emu and grey kangaroo or larger. 
About 90 per cent of all the specimens 
belong to Macropus titan. Other ele- 
ments in the fauna are Diprotodon sp, 
the kangaroos Sthenurus sp, Protem- 
nodon anak, Protemnodon sp, and the 
ground birds cf. Genyornis and Dro- 
maius sp. About forty square metres 
of the swamp deposit have been ex- 
cavated, yielding approximately eight 
individuals per square metre. 

Swamp site and channel site compared 

During the 1976 field season, a two 
square metre test trench was excavated 
that encountered a second type of de- 
posit, a former channel of a stream 
that had become filled with sediment. 
Unlike the swamp deposit from which 
the bulk of the specimens came, 
material here tended to be more com- 
plete. Despite the fact that literally 
hundreds of maxillae fragments of 
Macropus titan had been recovered in 
the swamp deposit, there was not one 
palate intact of the species in this 

channel, much less a complete skull. 
In the channel deposit, along with the 
maxillae fragments, a palate and a 
nearly complete skull of another in- 
dividual were found. 

In the swamp deposit, long bones 
tended to be nearly horizontal or dip 
at relatively low angles; bones with a 
vertical orientation were extremely 
rare. By contrast, the channel deposit 
yielded about a dozen long bones of 
emus that were vertical. In the swamp 
deposit, remains of small animals were 
conspicuous by their absence, al- 
though a concerted effort was made 
to find some. From the channel de- 
posit, only about a half-dozen teeth 
of small animals were recovered, but 
they added considerably to the num- 
ber of taxa represented at Lancefield: 
Thylacinus cf. cynocephalus, Vom- 
batus sp, cf. Wallabia, and rodentia. 

In 1977, it is planned to return for 
a fortnight to this site and excavate 
another two or three square metres 
of the channel deposit. The objec- 
tives will be to recover more of the 
smaller animals in order to gain a 
more complete picture of the fauna 
there and to see if additional, well- 
preserved skulls and skeletal ele- 
ments can be recovered. The excava- 
tion in 1976 chanced to encounter the 
edge of a stream channel. It is planned 
to locate the 1977 excavation at a 
point likely to be close to the central 
axis of the former channel. 

Artefact with the animal fossils 

Originally, a single season of exca- 
vation was planned at Lancefield, the 
summer of 1974. In the course of work 
that year, a stone tool was found in 
association with the fossil bones. In an 
attempt to decide whether further 
evidence of the association between 
the animal remains and humans could 
be found, work continued during the 
following two summers. To date, no 
unequivocal evidence has been dis- 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

covered to establish this association at 
Lancefield, and the site therefore re- 
mains a tantalizing puzzle. If the arte- 
fact was associated with the bones 
owing to the action of humans living 
at the same time as the animals, why 
are there no other indications of 
human activity at the site? If the arte- 
fact was emplaced long after the 
animals were buried, how did it be- 
come intercalated among the bones? 

Interest in this question of the pos- 
sible association between the animal 
remains and humans has resulted in a 
much more thorough investigation of 
this site than would otherwise have 
taken place. The geology has been 
studied in detail by several workers 
and attempts have been made to radio- 
metrically date the bone. 

Fossils of land animals 

The fossil land mammals from 
Beaumaris are the oldest in the State. 
True, at Koonwarra there is evidence 
that land mammals were present much 
earlier (the fleas) but it is at Beau- 
maris that the unquestioned record of 
their presence begins — with bones of 
the actual animals. Unfortunately, 
fossils of this kind from this site are 
quite rare; less than half a dozen have 
been found. 

Meagre though this sample is, the 
site is extremely important because 
along with the land mammal fossils, 
marine invertebrates occur in the same 
rock unit; the Black Rock Member of 
the Sandringham Sands. The assem- 
blage of marine invertebrates from 
this unit forms the basis of recognition 
of the Cheltenhamian Stage. Because 
similar marine invertebrates occur 
elsewhere in the world, it has been 
possible to establish that the Chelten- 
hamian corresponds to the late Mio- 
cene (about 7 m.y.B.P.) in terms of 
the world-wide geological time scale. 
It is unusual for an assemblage of 

land mammal fossils to be so accur- 
ately dated in Australia because 
generally the geological conditions of 
the fossil sites are unfavourable. 
Therefore, these few specimens form 
an important reference point for dat- 
ing collections of land mammal fossils 
from other places using only the land 
mammals themselves. 

Two kinds of land mammals are 
represented at Beaumaris and both are 
diprotodontids. Zygomaturus gilli is 
the oldest and smallest species of the 
genus. It is known only from Beau- 
maris. The second diprotodontid can- 
not be definitely identified at the 
generic level although it probably is 
allied with Kohpsis, a genus known 
from the Northern Territory and New 
Guinea. Previously, it has been sug- 
gested by Woodburnc (1969) that all 
the diprotodontid material known 
from Beaumaris belong to Z. gilli. 
However, comparison of an undoubted 
lower Mi of Z. gilli found in 1972 by 

Fig. 6. Crown or occlusal view of right 
Mi (lower fourth molar) of Zygomaturus 
gilli from Beaumaris, Victoria. Original 
specimen property of Mr Brian Crichton. 
30.5 mm long. 



Mr Brian Crichton with the homo- 
logous tooth in the jaw previously 
thought by Woodburne to represent 
the lower dentition of this species, in- 
dicates that the latter belonged to a 
quite different animal. Unfortunately, 
this jaw was badly battered in the 
intertidal zone before being discovered 
and can only tentatively be referred to 

Fossils of marine birds and animals 

Specimens of marine birds are sur- 
prisingly common at Beaumaris, parti- 
cularly penguins. An albatross has also 
been described. Although marine 
mammals are common at Beaumaris, 
they have received scant attention in 
the scientific literature beyond simple 
lists of taxa. Most of the material con- 
sists of water-worn fragments but two 
sections of articulated vertebrae are 
known; one is from a seal and the 
other a small cetacean. 


The site of this fossil occurrence is 
a firehole roughly 250 metres in dia- 
meter at the top of the Morwell 1A 
seam in the State Electricity Commis- 
sion of Victoria Opencut Mine at 

Formation of the firehole began 
when the coal seam was exposed to 
air and caught fire. Burning of the 
coal formed a depression which sub- 
sequently filled with water to create a 
lake. The lake in turn was gradually 
filled with clay and silt up to the level 
of the top of the surrounding coal 
seam. While these lake sediments were 
accumulating, several skeletons of two 
species of kangaroo, Macropus titan 
and Protemnodon anak were buried in 
them. Afterwards, the Haunted Hill 
Gravel was deposited on top of both 
the coal seam and the sediments filling 
the firehole. 

Bones were first reported in May 
1975 by mining personnel, and since 

then the remains of about forty indi- 
vidual kangaroos have been found, 
together with a single skeleton of a 
bird, the Plain Wanderer Pedionomus, 
and the skeletons of a few small fish. 
Many of the skeletons were complete 
and often in articulated condition be- 
fore being uncovered by the mining 

The skeletons were scattered over 
an area within the firehole about 100 x 
200 metres. About half of them were 
found in a group near the southern 
margin of the firehole, but others 
occurred singly or in groups of two or 
three at random in the south-eastern 
two-thirds of the firehole. The absence 
of skeletons from the north-western 
third of the firehole has not been satis- 
factorily explained as yet. 

Not all the specimens died at one 
time. They occur over a vertical dis- 
tance of 8.9 metres near the bottom 
of the firehole. Some of the difference 
in elevation between pairs of speci- 
mens may be owing to slumping and 
irregularities in the bottom of the lake 
at the time of deposition of the skele- 
tons. However, examples were ob- 
served where specimens close to one 
another were separated vertically by 
sediments in which individual beds 
were uncontorted and could be traced 
continuously from above one speci- 
men to below another. 

Whatever the mechanism that 
caused this accumulation of bones at 
Morwell, it was highly selective. With 
the exception of the one small bird 
skeleton, all the terrestrial vertebrates 
in this large collection can be assigned 
to only two species of kangaroos. Pre- 
sumably, there were many other mam- 
mals of approximately the same size 
living at the time these skeletons were 
buried. Where these two kangaroos are 
found elsewhere, other such forms 
occur alongside them. Yet, there is not 
the slightest indication at Morwell of 
any of these other mammals. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Dating by fossil pollen 

Preliminary palynological or fossil 
pollen analysis of sediment collected 
from around the skeletons suggests a 
late Miocene age, 8 to 10 m.y.B.P. If 
this determination is correct, it would 
mean seriously revising the present 
picture of macropod evolution, for 
Macropus titan has previously been 
known only from late Pliocene 1 or 
younger deposits and Protemnodon 
anak from Pleistocene deposits exclu- 
sively (Bartholomai, 1973). 

Partridge (pers. comm., 1975) placed 
the pollen samples collected from 
around the skeletons in the late Mio- 
cene Triporopollenites bellus zone of 
Stover and Partridge (1973). The Mor- 
well coal seams are placed in the im- 
mediately previous zone of Stover and 
Partridge (1973), the early Oligocene 
to early Miocene Proteacidites tuber- 
culatus Zone. Therefore, the great age 
of the firehole cannot be readily ex- 
plained away by contamination from 
the immediately surrounding coal 
seam. The coal seams at nearby Yal- 
lourn have been assigned to the T. 
bellus Zone so there may have been a 
source of contaminants nearby during 
post-7, bellus time. However, if pollen 
was being reworked into the firehole 
deposit during that period, one would 
expect palynormorphs that are exclu- 
sively post-r. bellus Zone in range to 
be present, but none have been seen in 
the samples analyzed by Partridge thus 
far (pers. comm., 1975). 

Even if the palynological evidence 
is ignored, the Haunted Hill Gravels 
give some control to an age assignment 
for the underlying firehole. Jenkin 
(1968) reviewed the age of this unit 
and concluded, "However, it can be 
stated with reasonable certainty that 
the Haunted Hill Gravels were de- 
posited in the period between the 
Kalimnan and the Upper Pleistocene, 
and the bulk of the formation in the 
Upper Pliocene and perhaps Lower 
Pleistocene times." 

A Final Comment 

Not one of these sites was found 
by a palaeontologist deliberately set- 
ting about to locate fossils. Rather, 
people with other interests who had 
an overwhelming desire to understand 
what they had found were responsible 
for the discoveries. Driven by their 
curiosity, these people took the trouble 
to bring the material to the attention 
of professional palaeontologists. These 
five sites are not unique in this regard, 
the same could be said for most of the 
terrestrial vertebrate sites in Victoria. 

Persons of a similar outlook have 
been responsible for many valuable 
later discoveries at these same sites 
that also added to the knowledge of 
the history of terrestrial vertebrates in 
this part of Australia. Much of the 
credit, therefore, for the understand- 
ing of this history that has been and 
will be wrung from the fossil record 
must be given to these people. 

1 A partial skeleton identified as Macropus faunus by De Vis (1899) was collected in a deep 
lead beneath a basalt at the Great Buninyong Estate Mine. Hart (1899) discussed the geological 
setting of the specimen and Whitelaw (1899) gave a cross-section of the Great Buninyong Estate 
Mine in which the original location of the bones is noted. 

The specimen, National Museum of Victoria P24133, on re-examination has been assigned 
to Macropus titan, a course suggested by Bartholomai's action (Bartholomai, 1975) synonomising 
M. faunus De Vis, 1895, with M. titan Owen, 1838. 

Aziz-Ur-Rahman and McDougall (1972) analyzed three basalt samples collected in the 
vicinity of Ballarat and obtained dates greater than 2 m.y.B.P. They suggested that, ". . . many 
of the basalts in the Ballarat area are Late Pliocene in age." A sample taken from the basalt 
directly above the fossil site would be more satisfactory but until this is done, the inference for 
a minimum age of late Pliocene for this specimen must be based on radiometric dates determined 
for samples collected no closer than thirteen kilometres which are inferred to have been 
generated by the same episode of volcanism. 




Few of the ideas and pieces of in- 
formation in this article are exclusively 
my own. Rather than attempt to re- 
construct the plexus of innumerable 
conversations with and written com- 
munications from many different per- 
sons that led to them, I here take 
the liberty of thanking them all and 
earnestly beg the pardon of any inad- 
vertently overlooked: Drs P. Gunn, G. 
and J. Hope, D. Horton, P. Ladd, E. 
Lundelius, P. Rich, G. Sanson, A. and 
J. Warren, R. Wright; Messrs W. Blake, 
B. Crichton, T. Darragh, T. Flannery, 
R.Gaulton, E.Gill, R.Glenie, C.Mallett, 
R. Macdonald, C. Macrae, P. Mac- 
umber, R. McCutcheon, J. Parker, A. 
Partridge, R.Thorne, G.Sack, A.Shugg, 
K. Simpson, I. Stewart, C. Tassell arid 
R. Walkley. Finally, none of these 
people would probably agree in toto 
with what is written here and therefore 
bear no responsibility for its contents. 

I wish to thank Ms Susan Gibson, 
Lynette Anderson and Patricia Batche- 
lor for respectively drawing Figure 1, 
typing the manuscript, and editing, 
and Mr Frank Coffa for the photo- 
graphs in figures 2-6. 


Abele, C. et al, 1976. Tertiary. In Douglas, 
J. G., and Ferguson, J. A. (eds.). Geology of 
Victoria. Geol. Soc. Australia Spec. Publ. 

No. 5, pp. 177-274. 

Aziz-Ur-Rahman and I. McDougall, 1972. 
Potassium-Argon Ages on the Newer Vol- 
canics of Victoria. Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 85: 

Bartholomai, A., 1973. The genus Protem- 
nodon Owen (Marsupialia: Macropodidae) 
in the Upper Cainozoic deposits of Queens- 
land. Mem. Qld. Mus. 16(3): 309-363. 

— 1975. The genus Macropus Shaw (Mar- 
supilia: Macropodidae) in the Upper Caino- 
zoic deposits of Queensland. Mem. Qld. 
Mus. 17(2): 195-235. 

De Vis., C. W., 1899. Remarks on a fossil im- 
plement and bones of an extinct kangaroo. 
Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 12: 81-90. 

Hart, T. S., 1899. The bone clay and associated 
basalts at the Great Buninyong Estate Mine. 
Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 12: 74-80. 

Jenkin, J. J., 1968. The geomorphology and 
Upper Cainozoic geology of southeast Gipps- 
land, Victoria. Mem. Geol. Surv. Vic. 27: 

Lillegraven, J. A., 1974 Biogeographical con- 
siderations of the marsupial-placental dicho- 
tomy. Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 5: 263-283. 

Rich, P. V., 1975. Antarctic dispersal routes, 
wandering continents, and the origin of Aus- 
tralia's non-passeriform avifauna. Mem. 
Nat. Mus. Vic. 36: 63-125. 

Stover, L. E. and A. D. Partridge, 1973. Ter- 
tiary and Late Cretaceous spores and pollen 
from the Gippsland Basin, Southeastern 
Australia. Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 85: 237-286. 

Tedford, R. H., 1974. Marsupials and the new 
paleogeography. In Ross, C. A. (ed.) Paleo- 
geographic provinces and provinciality. Soc. 
Econ. Paleontologists and Mineralogists, 
Special Publication No. 21, pp. 109-126. 

Waldman, M., 1971. Fish from the freshwater 
Lower Cretaceous of Victoria, Australia, 
with comments on the palaeoenvironment. 
Spec. Pap. Palaeont. 9: 1-124. 

Whitelaw, H. S., 1899. Report on alleged dyke 
in the Great Buninyong Estate Mine. 
Monthly Progress Report, Geological Survey 
of Victoria, November and December, 1899, 
Nos. 8 and 9, pp. 46-47. 

Woodburne, M. O., 1969. A lower mandible 
of Zygomaturus gilli from the Sandringham 
Sands, Beaumaris, Victoria, Australia. 
Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 29: 29-39. 

Notice to Authors concerning first proofs 

If authors wish to see galley proofs, please enclose a stamped addressed envelope 
with your material and proofs will be sent to you as a matter of routine. But time is 
critical, and the editor should receive checked and OK'd proofs by return mail or 
such material could be delayed to a later issue. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Book Reviews 

"How to Know Western Australian Wildflowers — Part IV" 

by B. J. Grieve and W. E. Blackall 

24 x 17 cm, 402 pp. University of Western Australia Press, 1975. 

Recommended retail price: $21.00. 

More than ten years have elapsed 
since Part III of this "How to Know" 
series was published (see review in 
Muelleria 1: 239-240, July 1967), and 
22 years since Part I appeared in 1954. 
It is now most gratifying to see the 
work completed, by treatments of the 
families Solanaceae to Compositae (in 
Engler & Prantl's sequence); Goode- 
niaceae was already presented in Part 
II. High praise is due to Professor 
Brian Grieve and the University of 
Western Australia Press for a splen- 
didly produced and most useful book. 
In many ways the present volume is 
superior to its predecessors, having 
much more detailed drawings (includ- 
ing whole plants of the smaller herbs) 
and a gallery of sixteen attractive 

colour plates, each of which carries 
from five to eight pictures of different 
species. It is an excellent comple- 
ment to A. H. and A. W. Reed's re- 
cently published "Flowers and Plants 
of Western Australia" (1973). The 
very strong blue cover is embossed 
with floral motifs; the useful intro- 
ductory key to all plant families in 
Western Australia is repeated, as is 
the illustrated glossary to botanical 
terms preceding the index. 
This fine textbook will be indispens- 
able to any student wishing to identify 
the multitudinous flowers of the West 
- even though its retail price is 
several times higher than the $5 for 
Part III. 

J. H. Willis. 

"Flowers and Plants of New South Wales and Southern Queensland" 

by E. R. Rotherham, Barbara G. Briggs, D. F. Blaxell and R. C Carolin 

28.5 x 22 cm, 192 pp, incl. 35 pp of text (with index) and 556 colour plates. 

A. H. and A. W. Reed, 1975. Recommended retail price: $18.95. 

This very commendable book is the 
third in Reed's series on Australian 
Flora in Colour, which began in 1968 
with "Flowers and Plants of Victoria". 

Except for that vast tropical third, 
the Commonwealth's wildflowers are 
now fairly well covered pictorially. 
Both format and lay-out follow closely 
those of the Victorian and Western 
Australian predecessors, but only 
vernacular names of wide usage are 
provided — none have been coined. 
Plates are arranged under eleven 
broad eco-geographical sections, e.g. 
Heath, Mallee, Alpine and Subalpine 
Communities, etc. Green endpaper 
maps show the 17 major geographic 

divisions under which Queensland and 
New South Wales vegetation is dis- 

The 556 colour photographs are 
noteworthy for their beauty, clarity 
and easy recognition, with quality of 
reproduction up to the high standard 
set in the two companion volumes. 
If there be any questionable feature, 
it is the re-appearance of 88 species 
that were already portrayed in 
"Flowers and Plants of Victoria"; in- 
deed, Plate 2 (A vicennia marina, Grey 
Mangrove) is the selfsame picture as 
Plate 191 in the Victorian book. While 
some overlapping is perhaps unavoid- 
able, it would have been advantageous 



to see most of these repetitive items 
replaced by plants not hitherto 

Except for species ranging widely 
over Australia, the distribution is set 
out State by State; but in 26 instances 
(e.g. A triplex vesicaria, Bossiaea 
heterophylla, Pomaderris lanigera and 
Scaevola aemula) Victoria has been 
omitted from captions to species well 
documented for this State. The state- 
ment that Acacia longifolia var. 
sophorae is "Native to the coast north 
and south of Sydney, but has been 
extensively planted elsewhere" would 
seem to imply that this tree is endemic 
in New South Wales, but it is cer- 
tainly indigenous and widespread 
throughout the sandy littoral of Vic- 
toria and Tasmania. Banksia intcgri- 
folia, given for "Bass Strait Islands", 
has not been observed anywhere in the 
Strait this century, and the old record 
for King Island (1876) may be dubious. 

Fortunately, very few errors seem 

to have crept into the text. One 
notices under Plate 349 "Chiloglothis" 
instead of Chiloglottis, while the long- 
familiar name Cassia eremophila (Plate 
478) is now generally abandoned in 
favour of the prior C. nemophila. Plate 
203 depicts the orchid Lyperanthus 
suavcolens, not "Orthoceras strictum" 
as stated in both text and index; Plate 
462 looks much more like Kochia 
erioclada than any form of K. pyrami- 
data, and, anyway, the latter is hardly 
a "small shrub" but the tallest of its 
genus in Australia (sometimes to 2 m 

Here then is a welcome botanical 
book covering the most densely popu- 
lated part of the Commonwealth 
which, coincidentally, has the richest 
and most varied flora of any Aus- 
tralian State; it is bound to prove 
popular and useful to the professional 
plantsman, as well as to wildflower 
lovers and all cultivators of our native 
plants. J. H. Willis. 

New Publication available from FNCV Sales Officer 

"The Mosses of Southern Australia" by George A. M. Scott and lima G. Stone; 496 
pages; more than 100 species illustrated by Celia Rosser, others described. Published 
by Academic Press at $29.50; 20% discount to members; add postage. 

Other publications, including the two reviewed above by Dr Willis, are available from 
FNCV Sales Officer; discount to members; add postage. Write for a list of titles — 
include stamped addressed envelope for reply. 
Mr D. E. Mclnnes, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3145, or phone 2112427. 

Natural History Medallion Trust Fund 

We will be pleased to receive donations from organisations that feel this Fund is 
worthy of their support. 

The following donations have been received and we thank the donors : 

Amount invested as at 30 June 1976 $319 

Miss M. McLaren 50 

Total $369 
Garnet Johnson, Assistant Secretary 


In the headline to the article by I. C. Morris on page 152 of the August issue (Vic. 
Nat. 93: 4) the specific name should read Merops ornatus. 

In the article on Lake Eyre {Vic Nat 93: 4, 148) 6.35 metres below sea level refers to 
the surrounding area, not to the bed of the lake. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 
The Geology Group, FNCV 

The Geology Group was founded in 
1946 when there was a world-wide up- 
surge of interest in the earth sciences. 
During its 30 years the Group has aimed 
to increase that interest and to help pro- 
vide information on the various aspects 
of geology. The science has many 
branches — petrology, mineralogy, palae- 
ontology, geomorphology, etc., but most 
members feel that a general interest 
touching on all aspects provides great 
satisfaction. However, they are always 
eager to learn from the specialists among 
them and from visitors. 

Meetings and Excursions 

The Group has a meeting each month 
and an excursion each month. At the 
meetings there is an address by a guest 
speaker or by a Group member. Exhibits 
are a feature of the meetings and create 
much fruitful discussion. 

The monthly excursions are to 
quarries, volcanic eruption points, fossil 
sites, or to other areas of geological 
significance. Transport is by private car 
but there are usually some spare seats 
for those who do not drive. On one 
occasion, the Group surveyed and 
mapped the aboriginal chipping sites in 
the "greenstone" at Mt. William near 

Lancefield. This was done under the 
supervision of two licensed surveyors in 
the Group. 

Collecting, recording, conservation 

Many members become keen collectors 
of minerals, fossils or various rock types, 
but the Group has a long-standing prin- 
ciple: when specimens are found that are 
not common to the particular area or 
cannot be readily identified, they are sent 
to the National Museum for identification 
and recording. Without this understand- 
ing, members could unwittingly conceal 
information that is vital to our geological 
history. This precaution is particularly 
necessary when unexpected fossils are 

The Group is concerned about the 
preservation of geological features and 
has often brought the attention of local 
councils and planning bodies to such 

The Geological Group meets on the 
first Wednesday of each month at the 
National Herbarium; excursions are on 
the second Sunday. All FNCV members 
are welcome and no previous knowledge 
of geology is necessary: Group members 
will gladly help newcomers. 

Field Survey Group in recess 

Since its beginning in 1972, most 
members of the Field Survey Group have 
been involved in taxonomic and distribu- 
tion studies on aspects of Victoria's in- 
vertebrate fauna. These projects have 
been very rewarding for the people con- 
cerned and it is hoped that eventually 
they will make an important contribution 
to scientific knowledge in the fields 
studied. . . 

An on-going project is the publishing 
of introductory articles in "The Natura- 
lisf on the invertebrate groups that 
members have specialised in. The first of 
these should appear early next year. 

Unfortunately, a fall-off in attendances 
at meetings and camps made it impos- 
sible for formal Group activities to be 
continued successfully. At the July meet- 
ing, members agreed to suspend meetings 
and camps until there are enough m- 


terested people to make the Group viable 
again. With new members, the group could 
readily return to vigorous activity. No 
sphere of natural history study is ex- 
cluded from our aims. 

Robin Sandell 

Work meeting of Editorial Committee 

On Tuesday, 19 October there will be 
a work meeting o\' the Editorial Com- 
mittee at the Editor's home at 7.30 p.m. 
sharp. Each member will edit one. two or 
three articles, and mark them for the 
printer together with their relevant illus- 
trations. This will be followed by a pag- 
ing day, probably on Tuesday 9 or 16 

Members not on the Committee who 
wish to attend these editorial work meet- 
tings should phone the Editor. Two or 
three extra persons could be fitted in. 


Reports of FNCV Meetings 

General Meeting 
Monday 9 August 

Speaker for the evening was Dr. Peter 
Attiwill on "Plants and the atmosphere". 
Dr. Attiwill began by describing Joseph 
Priestley's experiment of 1772 demon- 
strating the ability of green plants to 
"restore air" as Priestley expressed it; as 
later discovered, this is because they put 
oxygen into the atmosphere. Thousands 
of millions of years ago the earth's at- 
mosphere had very little free oxygen, 
and it was probably due to the photo- 
synthetic activity of microscopic green 
plants that produced enough oxygen for 
other forms of life to develop in any 

Later, Dr. Attiwill talked about the 
carbon dioxide that green plants had 
"locked up" millions of years ago and 
how this carbon dioxide is now being 
released in steeply rising amounts by the 
burning of fossil fuels; and he spoke of 
modern man's production of more dust: 
one activity tends to warm up the earth's 
atmosphere, the other to cool it. 
Although there is enough oxygen in the 
atmosnhere for millions of years, Dr. 
Attiwill feels that the increase of carbon 
dioxide is very disturbing. 

Exhibits. Cross sections of Sea Urchin 
spines under six microscopes showed the 
colour and diversity of these objects and 
were a most informative follow-up to 
the article in the August "Naturalist". 

A specimen of Turkey Bush Myo- 
porum deserti had attractive, pendant 
white flowers about 1 cm across. An in- 
triguing woody fruit from the Bunva 
Mountains of Queensland carried the 
question "what is it?". It was a multiple 
fruit about 5 cm across; each single 
fruit had opened out into three sections, 
very thick and woody, and each section 
contained a i cm black seed neatly fit- 
ting in its own woody hollow. 

New Secretary needed. Dr. Alan Par- 
kin has resigned as he is off to Norway 
for further study. The President asked 
for a volunteer to replace him and 
stressed that the job is not heavy as our 
Assistant-Secretary, Mr. Garnet Johnson, 
handles all correspondence. 

Other Officers. The appointment of 
Mr. Reuben Kent as a Council member 
was announced. We need another Coun- 
cil member and a Vice-President. Council 
consists of 13 persons. All members can- 
not always attend and the Council Meet- 

ing is likely to lack the necessary quorum 
of seven if we have not our full quota 
of Council members. Any FNCV mem- 
ber who can spare a little extra time 
(another meeting each month and some 
attentive thought) should consider offer- 
ing his/her services as a Council mem- 
ber or as an officer, even if it can be only 
for a six-month period. 

"The Naturalist." The Editor asked 
members to show more interest in the 
journal they finance — a journal that has 
a recognised standing and world-wide 
distribution. This interest could take the 
form of contributing articles and nature 
notes, by criticising the contents and ap- 
pearance of the journal — both favour- 
ably and unfavourably, by consciously 
reading more of the journal than they 
usually do, by expressing appreciation to 
authors when articles are particularly 
enjoyed. If members have difficulty in 
preparing material for publication, simply 
apply to one of the Editorial Committee 
and he will help you. 

Black Rock Junior FNC seeks leaders 
for excursions. Persons willing to give a 
half day or full day service should con- 
tact Mark Bailey, 31 Potter Street, Black 
Rock, phone 598 1137. 

General Meeting 
Monday 13 September 

The speaker was Mr S. J. Cowling of 
the Fisheries and Wildlife Division of the 
Ministry for Conservation. The Division 
is the oldest of the conservation agencies 
and operated successively under various 
departments as ideas changed. These days, 
the basic objectives of the Division are to 
ensure perpetuation of animal species by 
conserving wildlife populations and their 

Exhibits included rock specimens from 
Euroa — rhyodacite, aplite and, under a 
microscope, black tourmaline crystals. 
Also under a microscope were some gar- 
net crystals from the Violet Town 

There was a bag of sand from Cooper 
Nook, N.S.W., and separate bags showed 
the minerals that are mined from that 
sand — monazite, rutile and zircon. 

A crystal of chiastolite showed the 
characteristic X pattern down the centre 
formed by carbon impurities; "chi" is 
Greek for the letter X, hence the name. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(Continued from page 170.) 


(All members are invited to attend any Group Meeting, no other payment.) 

At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Wednesday in the Month — Geology Group. 

3 November — "Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics." 
Dr Chris Gray, La Trobe University. 

I December — "Members' Night, slides and exhibits." 

Third Wednesday in the Month-^-Microscopical Group. 

20 October, 17 November — Members' Exhibits and Discussion. 

Second Thursday in the Month — Botany Group. 

14 October — "Propagation of Native Plants." Mr F. Jeffs. 

II November — "Aquatic Plants — Paddling after Puzzles." Miss Helen Aston. 
9 December — "Members' Night." 

Each meeting includes a quarter-hour address for beginners, various subjects. 

At the Conference Room, The Museum, Melbourne, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Monday in the Month — Marine Biology and Entomology Group. 
1 November, 6 December — Members' Exhibits. 

At the Arthur Rylah Institute, Brown Street, Heidelberg, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Thursday in the Month — Mammal Survey Group. 
4 November — "Film Night." 
2 December — "Members' Discussion Night." 


All Members are invited to attend Group Excursions. 

Day Group— Third Thursday in the Month. 

Thursday, 21 October— Maranoa Gardens. Meet at Entrance 11.30 a.m. Mont Albert 

tram in Collins Street, No. 42, alight at Kireep Road. 
Thursday, 18 November— Tour of Tintern School grounds (Ringwood). Leader, Miss 
M. Doery. Meet at Ringwood East Station at 11.15 a.m. Train leaves Flinders 
Street at 10.25 a.m., arrives Ringwood East 11.07 a.m. 

Geology Group 
Sunday, 10 October— "The Island, Werribee Gorge." Mr J. Myers. Meet at Bacchus 

Marsh, 10.30 a.m. 
Saturday-Sunday, 13-14 November— Meet at Yea Post Office, 11.00 a.m., Saturday. 

Arrangements for a week-end stay to be decided at next meeting. 

Botany Group — All members welcome. 
Week-end, 9-10 October— The Grampians (leave Melbourne Friday evening). 
Saturday, 30 October— Orchids— Mornington Peninsula. Leader, Mr Ian Morrison. 
Saturday, 13 November (afternoon)— Aquatic Plants. Leader, Miss Helen Aston. 
Saturday, 27 November— Grange Heathland. 
Saturday, 11 December— Mr. Donna Buang. Leader, Mr Ian Morrison. 


The Mammal Survey will hold a camp at The Switzerland Ranges, 20-21 November. 

(Details— Stephen Harwood, 53 1357.) 

Christmas Camp to be arranged, details later. 


Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

Established 1880 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 

and protect Australian fauna and flora. 

Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

His Excellency the Honorable Sir HENRY WINNEKE, K.C.M.G., O.B.E., Q.C. 

Key Honorary Office-Bearers, 1975-1976. 

Mrs. MARGARET CORRICK, 7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn, 3103. (857 9937.) 



Assistant Secretary (correspondence): Mr. GARNET JOHNSON, 20 Sydare Avenue, 

Chadstone, 3148. (56 3227.) 
Treasurer - Subscription Secretary: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Rd., East 

Malvern, 3145. (2112427.) 
Editor: Miss M. J. LESTER, 4/210 Domain Road, South Yarra, 3141. (26 1967.) 
Librarian: Mr. J. MARTINDALE, c/o National Herbarium, The Domain, South 

Excursion Secretary: Miss M. ALLENDER. 19 Hawthorn Avenue, Caulfield, 3161. 

(527 2749.) 
Sales Officer: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135. (21 1 2427.) 
Archives Officer: Mr. CALLANAN, 29 Reynards St., Coburg, 3058. Tel. 36 0587. 

Group Secretaries 

Botany: Mrs. RUTH ANDERS, 7 Barrington Drive, Ashwood, 3137. (25 3816.) 
Day Group: Miss D. M. BELL, 17 Tower Street, Mont Albert, 3127. (89 2850.) 
Field Survey: R. D. SANDELL, 39 Rubens Gve., Canterbury, 3126. (83 8009) 
Geology: Mr. T. SAULT. 

Mammal Survey: Mr. STEPHEN HARWOOD, 5 Prentice Street, Elsternwick, 3185. 
(53 1357) 

Microscopical: Mr. M. H. MEYER, 36 Milroy St., East Brighton. (96 3268.) 


Membership of the F.N.C.V. is open to any person interested in natural history. 
The Victorian Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and 
lending library is available and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the 
several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Rates of Subscriptions for 1975 


Joint Metropolitan 

Joint Retired Members 

Country Subscribers, and Retired Persons over 65 

Joint Country 


Subscriptions to Vict. Nat. .. . 

Overseas Subscription 

Junior with "Naturalist" 

Individual Magazines . . 











All subscriptions should be made payable to the Field Naturalist Club of Victoria and oosted to 
the Subscription Secretary. 



m m .. 

November 'December, 1976 



is incorporated the Microscopical Society 


Category "J?" 
egistered in Australia for transmission by post as a periodical 


At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra. 


Monday, 13 December (8.00 p.m.) — 

Speaker — Dr Elizabeth K. Turner. 

Subject — "In Darwin's Footsteps to the Galapagos Islands." 

Monday, 10 January (8.00 p.m.) — 

Subject— "Members' Night"— Short talks with slides on various subjects. 

Convener: Mr Ian Cameron (86 7035). 

Monday, 14 February (8.00 p.m.) — 

Speakers — Miss Mary Doery and Mr Ian Morrison. 
Subject— FNCV Bus Trip to N.S.W., August-September, 1976. 

New Members — December General Meeting: 


Mrs Joan Anderson, 18 Grosvenor Street, Mid Brighton 3186 (Botany, Marine, Entomology). 

Mr C. Henshaw, 4 Felling Road. Murrumbeena 3163 (Botany). 

Miss Juliana M. Koth, 21 Smart Street, Hawthorn 3122 (Mammal Survey, Botany). 

Mr Michael J. McBain, 17/ 1 Fulton Street, East St Kilda 3182 (Botany, Geology). 

Mrs Ciabi Rosos, 1/11 Irving Avenue, Windsor 3 LSI (Geology, Ecology). 

Mr Michael Schramme, 4/9 Robe Street, St Kilda 3 L82. 

Mr Fabio Zudich, 5 Mary Avenue, West Heidelberg 3083 (Mammal and Field Survey). 


Mr. Peter Burchill and Mrs Rita Burchill, 10 Gleeson Drive, Bundoora 3083. 

Mr Robert D. Thompson and Mrs F. R. Thompson, 23 Byron Street, Box Hill South 3128. 


Mr A. E. Logan, "Wodara", Carobost, Wagga Wagga, N.S.W. 2650 (Orchids). 

Ms Christine Riley. 1201 Acton Road, Cambridge, Tas. 7170. 

Mr Jeffrey A. Wauchope, Ormiston Gorge, C/- P.O. Box 1046, Alice Springs, N.T. 5750. 


Saturday, 1.1.1977 -Sunday, 9.1.1977— Burnie, Tasmania. Led by the Burnie F.N. Club. 
The plane (T.A.A.) will leave at 9.00 a.m. and the connecting coach from 50 
Franklin Street at 8.10 a.m. The accommodation is at the Club Hotel, Mount 
Street, Burnie, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. The cost of the trip should 
have been paid by the time this issue of the Naturalist is received and it is hoped 
the $200.00 will now cover transport in Tasmania. We will be going on day trips 
on Sunday and Monday and it might be advisable to include something for picnic 
lunches on these days as they will be holidays. On the return flight the plane will 
leave for Melbourne at 3.00 p.m. 

Sunday, 16th January — French Island. Leader Mr T. Sault. The Stony Point express 
leaves Flinders Street at 9.27 a.m. and connects with the Cowes ferry which stops 
at Tankerton on request. Bring two meals. 

Sunday, 20 February — A Marine Biology Excursion led by Dr Brian Smith. Details 
will appear in the next Naturalist. 

(Continued on page 259) 

214 Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The Victorian 

Volume 93, Number 6 8 December 1976 

Editor: Margery J.Lester 
Committee: Margaret Corrick, Reuben Kent, Roland Myers, Brian Smith, Grif Ward 

Channels in Shore Platforms, by E.D.Gill 216 

Birds of the Victorian Coast, by Jack Wheeler 221 

Animals that make Shells, by E.A. Bishop 224 

Two new Molluscs for Victoria, by A. E. Monger 226 

An introduction to Galeolaria, by D.E.McInnes 228 

Cryptic Molluscs among Galeolaria, by R.Burn & K.N.Bell 232 

Intertidal Crabs of Victoria, by Geoff Wescott 237 

Eucalypts along the Victorian Coast, by Pat Carolan 246 

Bush-peas of Victoria, by M.G. Corrick 250 

Habitat of Swamp Antechinus, by J.W.Wainer & R.J.Gibson 253 

Generic Names of Victorian Flora, by J.A.Baines 256 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria: Marine Biology & Entomology 
Group 257, Reports of Meetings 258 

Cover illustration: Rough Rock Crab Nectocarcinus tuberculosus, 
see page 237. Photograph by B.Pump. 

Channels in Shore Platforms - a world of their own 

by Edmund D. Gill* 

Australia possesses some of the most 
energetic coasts in the world. The 
Southern Ocean is the dynamo that 
provides this power, which arrives 
chiefly in the form of swell. 

Because most Australian tides are of 
small range, and the marine attack is 
concentrated in that range, many ex- 
cellent shore platforms exist on the 
rocky coasts, especially in the southern 
part of the continent. As the cutting 
of the platforms is a function of ocean 
energy, they occur on headlands and 
on exposed coasts. However, platforms 
are not continuous. They are charac- 
teristically divided hy channels. These 
constitute an ecologic unit of their 
own — a world in itself. 

1. Channels as Boulder-makers 

Most boulders are made in rivers. 
On the Otway coast of Victoria, for 
example, more boulders are found in 
the vicinity of river mouths than any- 
where else. However, the channels 
also are factories for the making of 
boulders and pebbles. Angular pieces 
of rock from cliff falls are swept by 
waves into channels, as also are rocks 
quarried from platform edges or 
plucked from platform surfaces. An- 
gular rocks are also levered from 
channel walls by the uprush of surf 
and the subsequent backwash. 

Even on platforms that are very 
resistant to marine attack, a great deal 
of abrasion occurs in the channels. 
The angler can feel through his line 
the movement of boulders on the 
channel floor, and the sinker can be- 
come buried and irretrievable if left 

2. Channels as Ecologic units 

The oxygen-rich surf zone has a 
large biota both in species and in num- 
bers. But the channel has a different 
range of life forms from both the 
platform edge and the platform 

Let us again take the Otway coast 
as an example. The large kelp Dur- 
villea potatorum common in Victoria 
and Tasmania, is characteristic of open 
coast sites. It ranges along the plat- 
form edge, but does not inhabit the 
channels. In an open sea situation, the 
tops of the kelp holdfasts mark mean 
low water level. Similarly, the ascidian 
(sea-squirt) Pyura forms a band in the 
vicinity of low sea level on the open 
coast, but does not continue up the 

On the other hand, Galeolaria the 
marine worm with a calcareous exo- 
skeleton, builds its white tubes on rock 
surfaces in the surf zone, but not 
where the sea makes a frontal attack. 
Galeolaria can thus be found in 
various sheltered spots along the edge 
of the platform, but more extensively 
in the channels. Where best developed, 
it forms a white band on the channel 
wall, and the top of the band marks 
mean sea level. 

*l/47 Wattle Valley Road, Canterbury. 

Plate 1 

Upper. Near horizontal supratidal shore 
platform in Lower Cretaceous arkose about 
1 km SW of Point Sturt, Otway coast, Vic- 
toria, Australia. Note two channels beyond 
the platform; they originated by the sea 
eroding along major joint planes. 

Lower. Surf spreading across the above 
platform, As it is horizontal there is no 
backwash. The water runs from the back of 
the platform into channels, and so returns to 
the sea. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

j*4*a*^?»< <SW* 

~ >-<- ■<?!&$&>■ ^^2gl2r*f 





Photographs by author. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Channels have a range of seaweeds, 
calcareous algae, molluscs and other 
forms of life that populate the rock 
surfaces except for those of the mobile 
boulders and pebbles. At the head of 
the channel there are often boulders 
too big to be moved, and on these 
various life forms make their homes. 

3. Channels as Refugia 

On the Otway coast parrot fish are 
the normal inhabitants of channels 
and platform edges. Young sweep may 
be found in the channels from time 
to time, and probably occupy them as 
refugia from marauding larger fish. 
However, occasionally the channels 
carry fish that are far from their 
normal habitat. Mr Ian Hunt, a fisher- 
man at Lome, told me that he has 
seen a channel full of barracouta 
driven in by attacking dolphins. One 
evening at dusk I caught two "sea 
cod" in a channel but know of no 
other occurrence in this habitat. Most 
people did not know what they were. 

4. The Channel as a Water System 

On an open beach, the energies of 
the restless sea are dissipated by the 
waves breaking to surf, then running 
up the beach, ard returning as back- 
wash that battles the next incoming 
surf line. The beach is essentially a 
ramp, where gravity works against the 
water running up it, and pulls the 
backwash back into the sea. 

The softer rocks form similar ramps, 
and some beaches are veneers o\' sand 
over such ramps. However, the harder 
rocks have not yet had time (since 
the sea returned to its present level 
from the Last Glacial low) to evolve 
ramps, and so platforms stand at all 
manner of levels. At Lome, between 
the supratidal platform at Stony Creek 
and the mouth of the Lrskine River, a 
gradation of levels occurs until the 
beach takes over at the river mouth. 

Whereas on a beach or a ramp- 
platform the sea runs up the incline, 
then down again, the sea breaks over 
a supratidal horizontal shore platform, 
and spreads across it, often in a series 
of fans. As the platform is horizontal, 
there is no backwash, then where can 
the water go? It runs off the back of 
the platform into channels, which are 
the conduits for conducting the water 
back to the sea. Supratidal platforms 
look flat, but their profile near the cliff 
is slightly arched so as to lead the 
water to the channel. Occasionally 
gutters are excavated by the sea at the 
back of the platform to assist this 

In addition to conducting away the 
waters from horizontal and irregular 
platforms, the channels have their 
own system of advancing and retreat- 
ing waves and surf. So the waters of 
the channel are the most turbulent, 
and as a result the most oxygenated, 
of all the coastal ecologies. 

Plate 2 

Upper. Lower Cretaceous siltstone platform 
with low seaward dip (ramp) graded to low 
water level, NE of the platform shown in 
Plate 1. The boundary between the siltstone 
and the arkose is a fault, and the photo shows 
the siltstone beds curved against the fault line. 

Lower !eft. Gulch at Artillery Rocks, Ot- 
way coast, filled with heavy surf, May, 1975. 
Note the calcitic concretions on arkose 

Lower right. The beginning of a channel. 
The sea is quarrying along major joint planes 
in the arkose platform on the SE side of 
Reedy Creek, NE of Lome, Otway Coast. 

5. Channels as Marine Structures 

The architecture of channels is the 
work of the sea. They are usually built 
at right angles to the waves, the direc- 
tion of energy input. However, if 
there is a band of weaker rock oblique 
to the platform edge, this material will 
be preferentially eroded, resulting in a 
channel at an angle to the platform 
edge. All channels are a function of 
weaker rocks being more rapidly 
eroded by the waves. The weakness 



may be in the lithology, or due to in- 
ternal structures such as bedding 
planes, joints or faults. 

Some channels are in early stages of 
development, while others are mature. 
Some are narrow and deep, while 
others are wide and shallow. When 
deeper than wide they can be called 
gulches. Because the channel floor 
is usually covered with rocks that 
abrade it, erosion extends down below 
low water level. 

The head of a channel may be at a 
cliff, or in a cave cut in a cliff. More 
commonly the head of a channel cor- 
responds to a gully or other negative 
feature on land. The subaerial forces 
have worked down the same zone of 
rock weakness that the sea exploited 
to carve the channel. 

Museum of Coastal Geomorphology 

Point Sturt on the SW side of Wye 
River on the Otway coast of Victoria 
is noticed by travellers along the 
Ocean Road because of the radio tele- 
phone installation on it. About 1 km 
SW of the Point there is a small head- 
land of Lower Cretaceous massive 
arkose that has resisted the attack of 

the sea. On the seaward edge is an 
excellent supratidal horizontal plat- 
form, with a dip slope at the edge of 
about 10°. On the NE side of the head- 
land, the arkose suddenly cuts out, and 
the shore is inset. This is because a 
fault brings in the 100% more ero- 
dable siltstone, which forms a low 
ramp with a beach at the back. 

A channel has developed along the 
fault plane, and another nearby to 
the SW where the arkose has been 
weakened by a series of large joint 
planes. The latter channel passes up 
into an abandoned channel where 
coastal tea-tree and other shrubs grow 
up through the rocks. At the top of 
the channel is a platform (parking 
space) cut during the Last Interglacial 
when the sea was 7.5 m higher. Other 
channels exist further SW again, and 
they also are due to large joint planes. 

Beyond the Otways are the cliffs of 
earthy limestone at Port Campbell, 
and of aeolianite from Lake Gillear to 
Warrnambool. The latter contrast in 
both rate and mode of channel ero- 
sion, showing that channels can form 
in different ways at different rates in 
different rocks! 

Another coast issue in February 

There has been a great response from 
writers with coastal material, and there 
will now be two coast issues — this one 
and February 1977. 

It was not easy to decide which 
articles should appear in December and 
which should be withheld until Febru- 
ary. However, the Editorial Committee 
agreed that we should carry out our 
usual aim of providing material on a 
variety of interests in each issue, but 
with particular emphasis on marine 
biology in this one. In February, there 
will be more articles on coastal geology, 
plants, mammals and birds. 

Articles for this issue were received 
well on time; we thank all writers and 
apologise to those who may have made 
a particular effort to meet the deadline 
but whose work is being withheld until 
February. Although this issue contains 
four pages more than usual, it could not 
accommodate all the material. 

One environment for an issue seems 
to be a good idea and the Editorial 
Committee is considering another special 
issue for next December. If readers have 
any suggestions regarding subject matter, 
please send them to the editor. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Some Birds of the Victorian Coast 

by Jack Wheeler* 

Bass Strait is a natural corridor or 
fly-way for many species of sea birds 
which frequent both the Indian Ocean 
and the Pacific Ocean. 

On the other hand, the Strait is a 
barrier to certain land-locked species, 
fourteen of which are endemic to 
Tasmania and its islands. There are 
also many mainland species that have 
never attempted the crossing to Tas- 
mania, one being the Kookaburra 
which has been introduced. Even 
two of our most common mainland 
species, the Willie Wagtail and the 
Peewee, are only stragglers to the 
south. However, many species do 
move between Tasmania and Aus- 
tralia, including many of our migrants. 

Sea birds that breed in burrows 

Sea birds, no doubt, have bred for 
centuries on the Bass Strait islands 
and other islands off our coasts. None 
is better known than the Short-tailed 
Shearwater which returns every Sep- 
tember with clockwork precision from 
its remarkable migration to the Arctic 
region. Some of the islands are 
riddled with countless thousands of 
nesting burrows. The birds are best 
observed at dusk during the breeding 
season throughout summer at Phillip 
Island, Muttonbird Island (near Port 
Campbell) and Griffith Island at Port 
Fairy. After a day at sea, each 
arrives at dusk to feed its mate incu- 
bating the single egg, or the hungry 
chick alone in the nesting burrow. 
During daylight hours, it is an amaz- 
ing sight to watch huge flocks of these 
birds feeding off shore. 

After the Short-tailed Shearwater 
has migrated northwards, its smaller 

cousin the Fluttering Shearwater pro- 
vides a similar interest during the 
winter months, the birds having 
crossed the Tasman from New Zea- 
land, often in flocks of countless 

Another of our coastal birds is of 
course the Little Penguin, often re- 
ferred to as the Fairy Penguin; it also 
breeds in burrows. Thousands of 
tourists at Phillip Island are enter- 
tained by these birds when they arrive 
in the evening to feed their young. 
One pair of Penguins continually 
takes up residence in an old cannon 
resting on the sand at lonely Fort 
Island, immediately south of Sorrento. 

The White-faced Storm Petrel, often 
referred to by sailors as "Mother 
Carey Chickens", is another species 
that nests in burrows. The two Vic- 
torian rookeries are within Port 
Phillip Bay; one is at Mud Island and 
the second, an overflow rookery, is to 
the east on Fort Island where it 
occupies almost every available space. 
Each year, observers make special 
trips to Mud Island to watch these 
dainty birds arrive — usually around 
9 p.m. after a day of feeding miles 
out in the ocean. Well before dawn 
they are off again for another day at 

Other sea birds 

Off shore, the Australian Gannet is 
frequently seen. It is not quite so 
handsome on the wing as the Alba- 
tross, but is untiring in its search for 
shoals of small fish. It gives a remark- 
able display of near-vertical diving, 

*72 James Street, Belmont, 3216 



and often remains under water for 
several seconds. 

Gannets breed on Lawrence Rocks 
near Portland, and on Black Pyramid 
Rock near King Island. Ten years ago, 
a tiny overflow of Lawrence Rocks 
birds established a breeding rookery 
on a pile light in Port Phillip Bay 
known as the Wedge. The writer visits 
there every season to band the chicks, 
over seventy of which have now been 

There are two raw sewage outfalls 
on the Victorian coast, one at Black 
Rock near Barwon Heads and the 
other at Point Danger, Warrnambool. 
Each winter, near these points there 
are excellent opportunities for observ- 
ing both species of Giant Petrel which 
visit there to feed, having bred in 
sub-antarctic rookeries. The Southern 
Giant Petrel sometimes exhibits a 
white phase bird, although it has some 
brown to black mottling on the 

There is little doubt that the num- 
ber of Silver Gulls is increasing along 
our coastline, although most of the 
breeding occurs at inland rookeries. 
Often seen with them are the larger 
Pacific Gulls. Together with the 
latter, keen observers may identify the 
Dominican Gull of New Zealand. It 
is slightly smaller, and when in flight 
reveals a pure white tail. These birds 
have recently been seen at Lakes En- 
trance and Airey's Inlet. 

Island, QueensclifT and particularly 
Mud Island. At any of these localities 
species which may be seen include 
Dotterels, Godwits, Greenshanks, 
Knots, Plovers (Golden and Grey), 
Sandpipers, Stints and Turnstones. 
Some of these species winter here and 
do not fly north to breed. Even the 
large Eastern Curlew has remained. 
During winter, the lovely Double- 
banded Dotterel from New Zealand 
may be seen occasionally. 

Along any beach, particularly in 
remote areas, the Red Oystercatcher 
may be observed, but there is concern 
that so few Sooty Oystercatchers and 
Double-banded Dotterels are seen. 

The several estuaries in this State 
also provide excellent areas for 
waders. The Pelican, White Egret and 
White-faced Heron frequent these 
areas, and on occasions the White- 
necked Heron. 

Other birds of the coastland 

A walk near the beach might result 
in sighting the watchful Kestrels or 
the Black-shouldered Kite hovering 
high or, if in east Gippsland, the 
majestic White-bellied Sea Eagle. 

Where bushland is close to the sea 
as at Lome and Mallacoota, many 
species of bush birds can be seen — 
from dainty Grey Fantails to robust 
Crimson Rosellas. 

Wading birds 

Wading birds are almost a study on 
their own and without that fine book- 
let published by the Bird Observers 
Club "Field Guide to Waders", the 
average observer finds it most diffi- 
cult to positively identify particular 

Waders may be seen in a number 
of areas — Altona Salt Works, Little 
River and Werribee Sewerage Farm, 
Avalon, Moolap Salt Pans, Swan 


tT ^H JP^ 

Australian Gannets with young at nesting 
site on Lawrence Rocks, Portland. 
Photograph by author. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Two favourite haunts of the writer 
are along the coast west of Port 
Campbell and at Point Addis. The 
former is where stunted shrubs and 
tussocks give cover to one of our 
most delicate species of bird — the 
Southern Emu Wren. It has been ob- 
served here within a stone's throw of 
the ocean, but has disappeared from 
many other localities. 

At Point Addis, the elusive Rufous 
Bristle Bird may be stalked amidst 

the stunted melaleuca scrub at the 
base of tall cliffs, and its distinctive 
note can be heard answered by its 
mate. Superb Blue Wrens and tiny 
White-browed Scrub Wrens share the 
habitat with the Bristle Bird. 

One could fill many pages covering 
this subject, but let the foregoing whet 
the reader's appetite for more ex- 
ploration, whether it be at Portland or 
Mallacoota, or during a quiet stroll at 

Book Review 

"The Care of sick, injured and orphaned Native Birds and Animals" 

By Jack Wheeler. 10cm x 18cm, 20 pp. Published by Geelong Field Naturalists Club. 

High speed vehicles, overhead cables, 
oil pollution of waterways and systemic 
poisons have all contributed to the in- 
crease in present day hazards to our 
birds and animals. Often, when such 
hazards are the cause of an injury to 
either, it is probable that neither veter- 
inary service nor Fauna Authority is 
nearby to give advice. 

It is at such a time, that some know- 
ledge of what should be done may prove 
invaluable in treating the injury and 
providing aftercare; and with the pub- 
lishing of this small book, that know- 
ledge is readily available. 

Within its pages, details of the initial 
treatment, housing and feeding of both 
birds and animals are given; and special 
sections dealing with orphans, oiled sea 
birds and window-crash birds, together 
with many other species are included. 

The booklet has been produced for 
free distribution and already has been 
sent to every school library in Victoria; 
it is now going to public libraries and 
to conservation groups. Individual orders 
should include postage: one copy 20c, 
2-3 30c, 4-6 60c. Obtain them from 
Mr J. R. Wheeler, 72 James Street, 
Belmont, 3216. G. M. Ward 


Cuttle-bone is often washed up on 
our beaches, but few people know where 
it comes from. Many are surprised to 
find that this "bone" is actually the 
shell of a mollusc for it does not look at 
all like a sea shell. The cuttlefish, the 
animal that produces the cuttle-bone, is 
a highly modified mollusc and is more 
closely related to the squid and octopus 
than to other molluscs. 

Although cuttle-bone is equivalent to 


the shell of ordinary molluscs, it is 
inside the body of the animal, along the 
back. The cuttle-bone contains a great 
number of gas chambers, and the buoy- 
ancy of the animal can be adjusted by 
altering the amount of gas in the cham- 
bers. It also serves as a sort of skeleton 
to support muscles, so the term "bone" 
is not so very wrong after all! 

Like squids, the cuttlefish has ten long 
arms at the front. It is a predatory ani- 
mal, the well-developed eyes being used 
for sighting the prey, the arms for 
catching it, and it can change colour 
rapidly to camouflage with its sur- 

Rosalind St Clair, East Malvern 



Animals that make Shells 

by E. A. Bishop, Marine Biology Group, FNCV 

On the beaches of Port Phillip Bay, 
on the long coastline of Gippsland, 
below the cliffs of the west Victorian 
coasts, we find shells. They are the 
protective coverings of a most interest- 
ing group of animals. 

These animals have been given the 
name "molluscs" from the Latin 
mollis, meaning soft; they have soft 
bodies and are not supported by any 
internal framework such as a skeleton. 
There are about fifteen thousand 
species of molluscs in Australian waters 
with about three thousand recorded 
from Victoria. 

Some characteristic features 
of molluscs 

The shell of a mollusc is produced 
by special cells in the mantle. This is 
a sheet-like extension of the body that 
lies closely against the inside of the 
shell. Gills project into the space be- 
tween the mantle and the main body 
of the animal. Sometimes, the mantle 
has remarkable colours. With the tro- 
pical Giant Clam, it is the mantle that 
tourists look at with admiration rather 
than the shell. 

A noticeable characteristic of mol- 
luscs is the muscular thickening of the 
undersurface of the body to form 
what is called the "foot". In the gas- 
tropods (snails and limpets) the foot is 
a means of creeping locomotion, and 
the limpets also use it as an organ of 
attachment. The foot of a bivalve is 
wedge-shaped and serves as a burrow- 
ing tool. 

A structure unique to molluscs is 
the radula. This is like a flexible file 
that is extended from the mouth and 
used for rasping food. (See Dr Smith's 
account of snail feeding in the last 

issue: Vic Nat 93, 5, 186-7.) Bivalves 
are filter feeders and do not have a 

Eggs and young 

Eggs may be laid singly or in vast 
numbers contained in formations 
characteristic of the particular species 
— straps or ribbons of various kinds, 
strings, rafts, capsules, or blobs of 
jelly. These egg-masses are often 
washed up on beaches. 

One of the sand snails Ectosinum 
zonale has a peculiar egg-mass. Hold 
one up to the light and you will see 
that it consists of thousands of micro- 
scopic eggs lying between and sur- 
rounded by sand grains that are glued 
together in a compact layer, the whole 
mass looking like a collar. It can be 
five or six centimetres across. 

The eggs hatch into tiny larvae, 
quite unlike their parents and capable 
of swimming. These larvae (veligers) 
float about with the tides as plankton, 
together with other larvae and minute 
animals and plants. 

The Anemone Cone Floraconus 
anemone, which is found in Victorian 
waters, is known to have direct de- 
velopment. Numbers of small, flask- 
shaped egg-capsules are attached to a 
rock; the juveniles break through an 
"escape hatch" and crawl off as minia- 
ture snails, each equipped with a tiny 
fragile shell already recognisable as 
that of a cone. 

Various ways of living 

A few molluscs continue a plank- 
tonic existence all their lives. The 
Violet Snail and Ram's-horn Shell are 
floating creatures carried by the ocean 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

A carnivorous gastropod. The mouth part of 
carnivores is extended forward as a snout or 
proboscis. Many carnivores have a siphon, 
and there is usually a groove or channel 
where the siphon emerges at the shell 

The Violet Snail lanthina is known 
as the "floating shell of the high seas". 
The shell can be up to four centi- 
metres across and is very thin and 
fragile. It is strange that a gastropod 
mollusc complete with shell should be 
a floating creature, but it is achieved 
by a remarkable secretion from the 
foot that produces a float of foam-like 
mass. To the underside of this float, a 
series of egg-capsules are fastened in 
the breeding season, lanthina feeds on 
other planktonic animals. 

In contrast to lanthina, the Ram's- 
horn Shell Spirula spirula is a creature 
of the depths, floating along on the 
deep currents of the ocean. Specimens 
have been taken in plankton nets at 
depths of 200 to 2000 metres. 

Most molluscs live in coastal waters 
or in the intertidal zone and many 
feed on seaweeds, the leafy kinds or 
the smaller or encrusting ones. The 
radula is a splendid rasping tool as the 
gardener sadly knows with land snails. 
Generally they feed at night. 

Limpets settle themselves in one 
place on a rock but move away to 
graze, each always returning to its own 
indented spot. With the suction and 
muscular action of the foot they can 
make themselves capable of with- 
standing rough seas; it is almost im- 
possible to move them once they are 
aware of danger. 

Some molluscs are carnivorous and 
even feed on other molluscs. They are 
capable of drilling a hole in the shell 

of their victim and sucking out the 
animal. A few carnivores, such as 
whelks, are able to get under the 
operculum, the hard trap-door that 
closes the opening of many gastropods. 

Bivalves are found on open beaches, 
on mud flats and estuaries, often bur- 
rowing under the sand where they can 
go to a depth of 30 centimetres. They 
have no radula and feed by a filter 
system. Most bivalves have two pro- 
jecting tubes or siphons; water enters 
through the inhalent siphon, passes 
across the gills and goes out through 
the exhalent siphon. During its pas- 
sage across the gills, both oxygen and 
food particles are drawn from the 
water; the oxygen passes directly into 
the blood stream in the gills, and the 
food particles are directed to the 

One bivalve, Hairy Ark Barbatia 
pistachia, is amongst the few inverte- 
brate animals that have red blood. It 
is not like the red blood of back- 
boned animals in regard to its cor- 
puscles, but contains a red pigment 
related to haemoglobin, and so is un- 
like that of blue-blooded lobsters or 

The waters of tropical areas are very 
rich in molluscs, many of which have 
brightly coloured shells. But the ani- 
mals within the superb tropical shells 
are built on the same pattern as the 
animals in the less brilliant shells of 
temperate areas. The colour of a mol- 
lusc's protective covering — the shell 

- is partly determined by environ- 
mental factors. 

A typical bivalve. A bivalve has no head or 
eyes, although some species have light- 
sensitive spots at the mantle edge. 



Two new Molluscs recorded for Victoria 

by Alan E. Monger* 

While collecting in shell sand at 
Honeysuckle Point, Shoreham, during 
May 1973, 1 picked up a limpet-like 
shell quite unlike any 1 had seen before. 
Although empty of animal it was in 
perfect condition and at first glance 
looked like Zeacrypta with its tiny 
shelf covering part of the aperture. 
However, it possessed a slit and fine 
latticed sculpture which showed the 
family to be Fissurellidae. A look at 
Cotton's "South Australian Mollusca" 
gave the genus as Zeidora A. Adams 
1860 (synonyms Crcpicmarginula 
Seguenzin 1880, Legrandia Beddome 
1883 and Zidora Fischer 1885). 

Only two species of this genus have 
been described from South-east Aus- 
tralia; Z.lodderae (Tate & May, 1900) 
Z.tasmanica (Beddome 1883). A sy- 
nonym of the latter is Z.Iegrandi (Tate 
1894). The Shoreham specimen was 
identified as Z.tasmanica. 

At the time of Tate's writing his 
note on the genus (Tate 1894) there 
were only six species known in the 
world, two of which were fossil. More 
are now known, but they are few and 
far between and apparently inhabit 
deep water, although May recorded a 
specimen at "Z.lcgrandr from the 
littoral zone at Levcn, North Tas- 

Beddome's description of Legrandia 
tasmanica was quite unsatisfactory 
and there was no figure to help mat- 
ters. Tate described his Z.Iegrandi in 
detail although without a figure and 
while noting that his species was twice 
the size of Beddome's, stated that 
there was a distinct possibility that 
they were one and the same species. 
This was later confirmed by Tate and 
May (1900). 

The description of Z.tasmanica is as 
follows: Shell cap-shaped, very flat, 
delicate, elliptical in outline with a 
deep anterior fissure and a narrow 
furrow extending from the fissure to 
the apex. Apex minute, hooked, al- 
most reaching the posterior margin. 
Colour, pale brown. Sculpture of obli- 
quely radial and concentric threadlets 
producing an elegant cancellation. The 
aperture margin is finely serrated. On 
the inside which is smooth and glossy, 
is a narrow crescent-shaped shelf at 
the posterior end. Dimensions: 9.5 mm 
x 6.0 x 2.0 height. 

Zeidora lodderae (Tate & May) was 
originally incorrectly described and 
figured as Z.tasmanica by Hedley, but 
Tate and May later recognised it as 
a separate species. It is much smaller 
than Z.tasmanica but otherwise very 
similar in appearance. The one strik- 
ing difference is that the apex of 

Honorary Associate in Invertebrates, 
National Museum of Victoria. 

Figure 1. Zeidora tasmanica. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Figure 2. Rimulanax corolla. 

Z.lodderae overhangs the posterior 
edge of the shell. 

During the HMAS "Kimbla'' ex- 
pedition of November 1973, a second 
specimen of Z.tasmanica was dredged 
in eastern Bass Strait. It was about the 
same size as the Shoreham specimen 
and somewhat bleached. 

The fact that Z.tasmanica is found 
in South Australia and Tasmania 
makes it not surprising that it has at 
last turned up in Victoria and can be 
added to the list of Victorian Marine 

Dredging from the "Kimbla" pro- 
duced a number of specimens of 
Rimulanax corolla (Verco 1908) also 
from the family Fissurellidae. The 
easternmost record was in 274 m depth, 
off Cape Howe, and the southernmost 
was in 421 m depth off Flinders Island. 

The description of R. corolla is: Shell 
thin, roundly ovate, depressed conic; 
colour white; apex spiral, recurved 
backwards; a perforation occupies the 
middle third of the anterior dorsal 
slope; between the perforation and the 
apex, its previous site is closed by 
sunken plates; between it and the mar- 

gin is a distinct rib fissured super- 
ficially throughout; the whole shell 
covered by as many as 90 radial ribs 
which crcnulate the edge; between the 
ribs concentric lamellae form tiny 
scales which however are barely visible 
on the tops of the ribs; internally a 
small shelf or septum convex towards 
the interior, hides the upper part of 
the perforation; dimensions up to 
18 mm x 15.5 mm x 5 mm height. 

This beautiful little shell was only 
known previously from deep water off 
South Australia. It is unfortunate that 
no live specimens were taken off the 
"Kimbla" expedition, but the shells 
that were obtained were in such good 
condition for such a fragile species 
that it can be safely assumed that they 
were living in the immediate vicinity 
of dredging operations and that there- 
fore their known range has been ex- 
tended to far eastern Victoria. 

At the moment, the Shoreham speci- 
men of Z.tasmanica and one specimen 
of R. corolla are in my collection. The 
remainder of the specimens from the 
"Kimbla" collections are housed in the 
National Museum of Victoria. 


Beddome, C. E., 1883. Description of some new 

marine shells of Tasmania, Proc. Roy. Soc. Tas. 

for 1882: 167-170. 
Cotton, B. C, 1959. South Australian Mollusca, 

A rchaeogastronoda . Adelaide. 
Hedley, C, 1900. Studies of Australian Mollusca. 

Pt. 1. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 25: 87-100. 
Mav, W. L. (revised by J. H. MacPherson), 1958. 

An Illustrated Index of Tasmanian Shells. Tas- 
Tate. R., 1894. On the Occurrence of the Fismrellid 

genus Zidora in Australian waters. Trans. R. Soc. 

S. Aust. 18: 118-119. 
Tate, R. ( and W. L. May, 1900. Descriptions of new 

genera and spec'es of Australian Mollusca 

(clv'efly Tasmanian). Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 24: 

Tate, R., and W. L. May, 1901. A revised census 

of the marine Mollusca of Tasmania. Proc. Linn. 

Soc N.S.W. 26: 344-417. 
Verco, J. C. 1908. Notes on South Australian 

Marine Mollusca. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 32: 



"Readers Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds". 616 pages. Discount to 
members. Postage $1.25 in Victoria. 



Galeolaria - the white, Coral-like Growth 
seen on rocks at low tide 

by D. E. McInnes, Marine Biology Group, FNCV 

Everyone scrambling along a rocky 
shore sees a layer of white coral-like 
material on rocks exposed at low tide. 
This growth can also be seen on the 
piles of a pier and particularly well 
along the fence of sea-water baths as 
in Fig. 1. The white layer extends in 
a level band that is just covered at 
high tide and well clear of the water 
at low tide. 

Most people see it and think of it 
as "just some corally stuff". But what 
is it? A close look as in Fig. 2 shows 
it is composed of a multitude of inter- 
twined limy tubes (4). (The words and 
numbers in bold type are key clues in 
determining what the growth is; they 
will be referred to again.) Look at the 
tubes with your hand lens (every good 
naturalist carries a hand lens); each 
tube is seen to be blocked with an 
ornamental disc just below the edge of 

Figure 1. Along the wall of sea-water baths. 

Figure 2. Closer view of the tubes. 

the tube. But what are these closed 
tubes? Let us find out by taking 
some home and making a closer 

A closer look at the tubes 

Gently prise off about two square 
inches of the "corally stuff". Also 
collect some clear sea water in a 
bottle or clean thermos flask. Take 
home the sample and the salt water. 

When home, place the sample of 
tubes in a porridge bowl — have a 
desk lamp near to give plenty of 
light on the object. Now for the closer 
examination. The ideal way is to use 
a low power stereo-microscope which 
gives a wonderful three-dimensional 
view, but our 8x hand lens will give 
enough magnification and with it we 
can see quite a lot of detail. 

First, let us look carefully at the 
little disc just inside the tube. This 
disc is similar to the operculum of a 
periwinkle, where it serves as a door 
that closes and protects the animal 
within from danger and drying. Look 
carefully with the hand lens at this 
operculum (for that is what it is 
called) and notice how ornamented it 
is, in contrast to the operculum of a 
periwinkle. The operculum has 3 to 5 
basal plates with movable calcareous 
spines (5) arising from the base of the 
plates; there are 9 of those spines (6) 
and the outer ones are toothed like a 
curved saw. Fig. 3 is a drawing of the 
operculum with the spines spread out 
to show the detail of the saw-like 
outer ones. The ornamentation on the 
operculum is important in identifying 
the various genera. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Underwater action from the tubes 

Now for the real action. Cover the 
sample with salt water, and with the 
lens in focus we will watch. Soon the 
opercula in the tubes start to move up, 
then to one side, and cautiously there 
emerges what looks like the fronds of 
two tiny tree-ferns growing from each 
tube. If we give the dish a tap, all the 
fronds disappear back into the tubes. 
After a short time, the fronds gradu- 
ally push their way out again and 
spread out like a net. 

If we watch one set of fronds very 
carefully, we will see tiny particles in 
the water being swept in a current 
down the fronds towards their centre. 
This is how the creature obtains its 
food. Along the arms forming the 
fronds are little finger-like projections 
on each side and these are covered 
with minute hairs (cilia). The cilia can 
be seen only with a high-power micro- 
scope; they beat in unison and it is 

their combined action that causes the 
current. But even with a hand lens, 
the little fingers can be seen bending 
down to help push a choice particle 
towards the mouth or, if an unsuit- 
able bit arrives, the fingers help to 
reject it and push it aside. The whole 
system of fronds, finger projections 
and cilia forms an elaborate net to 
guide food to the mouth of the 

The action of these creatures 
spreading their nets to catch food 
never fails to arouse interest. If it is 
possible to see them with a low-power 
stereo-microscope, the three dimen- 
sional view makes things even more 

With the fronds extended, we no 
longer see the operculum for it has 
disappeared behind them, but we still 
do not know what kind of animal we 
are looking at. 

Figure 3, above. Basal 
plates and moveable spines 
on the operculum of 
Galeolaria caespitosa. 
(Drawing by K.McInnes.) 

Figure 4, at right. Worm 
removed from limy tube. 
Galeolaria caespitosa. 
(From Linnean Soc. 1884.) 



The animal out of its tube 

The next step is to select one tube 
and gently break it apart without 
damaging the inhabitant. Sometimes, 
merely breaking the whole sample in 
half will do the trick and will release 
a tube dweller. 

We place the freed animal in a 
small saucer or petrie dish and, with 
light from a desk lamp, we can have 
a good look with the stereo- 
microscope or hand lens. What we 
now see is shown in Fig. 4. (For a 
good drawing it was necessary to go 
to the Proceedings of the Linnean 
Society 1884.) What we now see is a 
worm (1) of some sort, about 15-25 
mm in total length. An initial exami- 
nation shows that it is composed of 
many segments (2). 

The operculum is at the end of a 
short pillar called the peduncle grow- 
ing out from the dorsal side of the 
worm. The frond arms or tentacles, 
numbering thirty-six, are formed at 
the front of a saddle-shaped part that 
has a series of circular ridges. If we 
look carefully at the edges of the 
saddle we can see groups of fine hairs 
that project and withdraw. The hairs 
are called setae, and there are many 
setae (3) on the saddle (or thorax) and 
also on the remainder of the worm 
which is seen to be composed of 
many segments (2). This lower part is 
the abdomen. 

The front of the saddle (thorax) is 
curled over into a collar, and this is 
the part that secretes a ring of new 
lime around the edge of the tube to 
gradually lengthen and enlarge the 

Another interesting feature that can 
be discerned is that particles are being 
carried in a water current in a de- 
pression along the ventral side of the 
abdomen to the thorax, where the 
current passes round to the dorsal 
side. Again, this current is caused by 
minute cilia. When the worm is in 

the tube, the current carries the ex- 
creta along the depression in the 
abdomen around to the back of the 
worm where it is expelled well clear 
of the food net. 

This is what it is 

After this examination, it is pos- 
sible to find out just what we are 
looking at. During the examination, 
key clues and numbers were printed 
in bold type. Let us take the clues in 
the order of their numbers. 

Number 1 states that the creature 
is a worm; number 2 states that it has 
many segments which places it in the 
Phylum Annelida (segmented worms). 
Number 3 says it has many setae 
which places it in the Class Poly- 
chaeta (many setae). Number 4, the 
worm lives in limy tubes so that 
means that it is a member of the 
Family Serpulidae (limy tubes); num- 
ber 5 with an operculum of basal 
plates and movable spines fits it into 
the Genus Galeolaria; and number 6, 
having nine spines attached to one 
side of the plate it becomes the 
species caespitosa. 

So much for the anatomy of Galeo- 
laria caespitosa. Another aspect is 
that the Galeolaria inhabits a particu- 
lar part of the intertidal zone. It 
forms a band 18 to 40 centimetres 
wide, the top of the band reaching 
just under the lowest high tide level. 
In Port Phillip Bay the lower level of 
Galeolaria is about half tide mark 
when the tide is at its lowest spring 
level; there is much variation in dif- 
ferent situations, but this holds as a 
general rule. 

Also in Port Phillip Bay the Galeo- 
laria band is at a higher level next to 
the mussels; the latter seem to grow 
from below low tide level to the half 
way tidal mark. In places where there 
is wave action the Galeolaria and 
mussels tend to mix together, but in 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

sheltered areas the dividing line is 
quite sharp and obvious. 

Polycheate worms, of which Galeo- 
laria is one genus, have an amazing 
variety of forms. They range from a 
large centipede type over one metre 
long and used as bait by fishermen, to 
a form that lives in a mud tube and 

throws out a net of single threads to 
trap food particles; in some tropical 
forms the threads can be a metre in 


Dakin,W.J. Australian Seashores, 154-156. 

Straughan.D. Marine Serpulidae of Easl Austra- 
lia, Aust J our. Zoology 15, No. 1, 201-261 (in- 
cludes comprehensive reference list). 

Some Saltmarsh Plants 

Saltmarshes are always places of inter- 
est. The plants in them are often com- 
mon in their specialised habitat but not 
found elsewhere, and some that have 
both interest and beauty are so incon- 
spicuous amongst taller growth that we 
do not see them. I realise this anew on 
every visit to the saltmarsh between 
Loch Sport and Golden Beach. 

With one exception, not yet confirmed, 
plants in that marsh are species one 
would expect in such a place, yet I have 
not seen all of them growing together 
elsewhere. Beside the common Beaded 
Glasswort Salicornia quinqueflora, they 
include the coarser Thick-head or Black's 
Glasswort S. black tana. The fleshy leaves 
o\' these plants, together with those of 
Trailing Hemichroa Hemichroa pentan- 
dra, make a background of soft green, 
smokey red and dull yellow or occasion- 
ally scarlet. Against this background, the 
loose mats of Southern Sea-heath 

Fran ken ia pauciflora are conspicuous be- 
cause of their fine heathy foliage dotted 
with delicate white or pink flowers, a 
centimetre across and so thin they are 
almost translucent. 

Amongst these a diligent searcher may 
find two of Victoria's three species of 
Wilsonia: Silky Wilsonia Wilsonia 
humulis forming mats of small, cloudy 
grey and pink leaves overlapping in 
clusters like tiny fans, and the much 
looser sprawling Narrow-leaf Wilsonia 
W.backhousei with fleshy green linear 
leaves 2-3 cm long. Both species have 
tiny flowers. 

It is interesting to note that our third 
Wilsonia W .rotundifolici which has 
round but not overlapping green leaves, 
grows beside a lagoon at Meerlieu, a 
little north of Golden Beach. In Vic- 
toria, Wilsonia is nearly always coastal, 
but in Western Australia it grows fre- 
quently on inland saltpans. 

Jean Galbraith, Tyers 

Examining the Radulae of Molluscs 

As stated on page 257, a member of 
the FNCV Marine Biology Group is 
carrying out a project on radulae. The 
radula is "a sort of flexible file that is 
extended from the mouth and used for 
rasping food" (page 224). It is unique to 

The National Museum of Victoria 
supplies our worker with preserved 
specimens that it wishes to have 
examined. They are placed in \()'A 
sodium hydroxide overnight. The horny 
radula is resistant to the solution and is 
easily picked out from the resulting 
mush; it looks like a thread of brown 

cotton, 1 cm to 20 cm long according to 
the species and size of the specimen. If 
fresh specimens are available a quicker 
process can be used. 

The radula is an important factor in 
separating species. Superficially, one 
animal might look very like another, but 
the radula of each could be entirely 
different and is a great aid to identifi- 

The radula thread is placed under the 
microscope for critical examination. In 
our next issue the process of making 
radula slides will be described. 



Cryptic Molluscs inhabiting Galeolaria in Victoria 

hy Robert Burn* and K. N. Bell* 

The tubicolous polychaete Galeo- 
laria caespitosa (Lamarck, 1818) 
"occurs as a band at the top of the 
lower eulittoral on open coasts which 
afford some shelter. In localities of ex- 
treme exposure it is found where rock 
stacks or boulders protect it from the 
full force of the sea. In Port Phillip 
Bay it is found as a fringe on boulders, 
favouring the exposed side" (Black, in 
King, Black and Ducker 1971). Rarely 
in Victoria does it attain the thick en- 
crustations reported from NSW 
(Dakin, Bennett and Pope 1952) or 
eastern Tasmania (Guiler, 1959), and 
then only at well protected areas such 
as the northward facing rocky out- 
crops at Portarlington in Port Phillip 

Where Galeolaria growths are thick 
enough, and not just a veneer on the 
rocks, the spaces between the tubes are 
populated by an extensive cryptic 
fauna (Bennett and Pope, 1953). 

Prompted by the discovery of a 
small ectoparasitic pyramidellid mol- 
lusc Pseudoskenella depressa (Ponder 
1973) living on intertidal encrusta- 
tions of Galeolaria in south-eastern 
Australia (Ponder 1973), samples of 

1 l'< JUTLAND 


3 BR E AMI [ A 

4 I3TH Bl ACH 






10 KIRf PI 

11 A I I I ) N A 


1 ( SH A I I ii W I N L I T 

Fig. 1. Map showing the localities of the 
Galeolaria collections made for this study. 

Galeolaria from Port Phillip Bay and 
the open coastline were investigated 
for the cryptic molluscan fauna. De- 
tailed lists of the living molluscs pre- 
sent were compiled for each locality; 
the results are shown in Table 1. The 
presence of other animals were noted, 
but no attempt was made to assess 
how common the species were, mol- 
luscan or otherwise. 

Locality notes 

Selection of localities was governed 
largely by the fact that both authors 
reside in the Geelong area. All samples 
were collected by the authors, except 
that from Ricketts Point which was 
made by Dr Brian Smith. 

Seven localities within Port Phillip 
Bay were sampled. Three localities, the 
explosives jetty at Altona, Kirk Point, 
and Limeburners Point (Corio Bay) 
are not listed in Table 1 because no 
molluscs occurred. Of the other four 
localities, Steeles Rocks at Portarling- 
ton has large thick encrustations on a 
northward facing shore; here too it 
was noted that the Galeolaria formed 
larger, thicker tubes less closely 
packed together and the animals were 
larger and softer coloured than the 
open ocean samples. At Clifton 
Springs, the sample was taken from 
old timber piles well above the sand 
and shingle substrate. The Queenscliff 
sample from about 100 metres south 
of the pilot jetty, and that from 
Ricketts Point, were both from semi- 

*Honorary Associates, 
National Museum of Victoria. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Table 1 

East of Port 
Phillip Bay 

(/> CD 

P. "E 

Port Phillip 


Meturoplax retrojects 

Poneroplax albida 

Ischnochiton variegatus 

Montfortula rugosa 

Austrocochlea constricta 

Bembicium nanun juv. 

Notoacmea alta 

Notoacmea sp. 

Pa telloida alticos ta ta 

Trochid sp. juv. 

Rissoid sp. 1 
Rissoid sp. 2 

Orb i teste! la sp. 

Omalogyra (Helisalia) sp. 1 

Omalogyra (Helisalia) sp. 2 

Lepsiella vinosa 

Fusinid sp. juv. 

Pseudoskenella depressa 

Odostomia indistincta 

Runcinid sp. nov. 

Leuconopsis pellucidus 

Onchidella patelloides 

Siphonaria dimenensis 

Kergue/ene/la stowae 

Mytilus edulus planulatus 

Brachydontes rostratus 

Electro ma georgiana 

Kellia austral is 

he o * 


T,5 0) 

,- o 3 


X X 

West of Port Phillip Bay 

o 5 < c 

11 2 8 10 

X X 

X X 













X X 

14 2 16 


Table 1. 
Mollusc species 
present at each 

protected areas, in the former subject 
to much sand movement and very 
close to the main interchange of 
oceanic waters into Port Phillip Bay. 

The single sample from east of Port 
Phillip Bay came from timber piles in 
the channel of Shallow Inlet, on the 
north-eastern side near the area known 
locally as "Winchesters". This is a 
very protected shallow water locality. 

The Point Lonsdale sample came 
from a very narrow band of Galeolaria 
on the NE (protected) side of the base 
of a rock stack on the platform below 
the lighthouse. At Bancoora Reef, 
Breamlea, and Point Anderson, Port- 
land, the samples came from thin en- 
crustations on the protected damper 
(usually lower) parts of boulders well 
back from the edge of the reef. 



An isolated flat rock table at mid- 
tidj in a beach of large-grained highly 
mobile sand provided a small sample 
from 13th Beach, Barwon Heads. A 
southfacing high rock overhanging a 
narrow channel on the high energy 
coast at Point Grey, Lome, carried a 
thin encrustation. 

The molluscan species 

The majority of the molluscan 
species inhabiting Galeolaria are suf- 
ficiently large to be identified from 
standard reference books such as 
"Marine Molluscs of Victoria" 
(Macpherson and Gabriel 1962). The 
remaining species are small to minute, 
needing careful examination and refer- 
ence to specialized literature. Some 
species enjoying the protection of the 
Galeolaria were present only as 
juveniles, never as adults. Bembicium 
nanum and Patelloida alticostata were 
readily identifiable despite their small 
size. The Trochid sp and Fusinid sp 
were quite unrecognizable except for 
a tentative family placement. 

Other species were fully adult but 
small, only about 1 mm in major dia- 
meter. Orbitestella sp has a brown 
shell with radial ribs on one side. 
Omalogyra (Helisalla) spp 1 and 2 also 
have brown shells, the first with a 
darker band and rounded whorls, the 
second with slightly higher spire. 
Laseron (1954) described similar 
snecies from NSW. The latter species 
are widespread in Victorian waters, be- 
ing found in great numbers on the 
green algae Caulerpa and Bryopsis in 
rock pools and subtidally. 

Rissoid spp 1 and 2 are very com- 
mon; the first being pale brown and up 
to 3 mm long, the second black and up 
to 2 mm long. Laseron (1950) de- 
scribed four species of Notosetia from 
Galeolaria within Sydney Harbour, all 
of which are very close to the present 
snecies. Seven species of the genus are 
recorded from Victoria (Macpherson 

Fig. 2. 

Pseudosk en ella 
Height of 
shell 1.05 mm 
(Drawing from 
Ponder 1973). 

and Gabriel 1962) but nothing is 
known of their habitats. 

Small specimens of a dark brown 
highly conical limpet appear to be 
Notoacmea alta, usually associated 
with mussel beds. The small greenish 
yellow Notoacmea sp with a distinctive 
brown cross might be N. granulosa. 
This latter species is close to N.mufria 
described from Galeolaria in the 
Sydney area (Hedley, 1915). 

Pseudoskenella depressa is a pearly 
turbinate species about 1.5 mm across 
and 1 mm high. It is separated from 
all other Australian pyramidellids by 
its short spire. The presence of this 
species at eight localities, often in 
large numbers, indicates that it is both 
widespread and common despite its 
small size. The other pyramidellid, 
Odostomia indistincta Brazier (1894) 
has a conical spire and a small tooth 
in the aperture. It was abundant in the 
Ricketts Point sample, and Laseron 
(1951) found it abundantly in Galeo- 
laria in North Harbour, Sydney. It is 
a new record for Victoria. 

The small air-breathing ellobiid 
Leuconopsis pellucidus, that was pre- 
viously considered a rare species re- 
stricted to damp litter in swampy areas 
at the back of beaches, was found to 
be very common in five of the 10 
samples. Its preference seems to be 
for more open coastal situations. 

The other air-breathing species 
Onchidella patelloides, Siphonaria die- 
menensis and Kerguelenella stowae 
show the same preference, none of 
them occurring in samples from with- 
in Port Phillip Bay. On the other 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Fig. 3. 

Odostomia indistinct a. 
Height of shell 2.5 mm. 
This is a new record 
for Victoria. (Drawing 
from Laseron 1951.) 

hand, S.diemenensis is very common 
at rocky localities in the Bay and on 
the open coast, so perhaps its occur- 
rence on Galeolaria at Portland was 
by chance rather than purpose. 

The only opisthobranch found re- 
presents a new species of the suborder 
Runcinacea, distinguished from its 
Australian relatives (Burn, 1963) by 
the presence of a distinctively shaped 
external shell. The present specimens, 
both adult and juvenile between 1 and 
3 mm long, indicate that this species 
lives in the Galeolaria. A similar 
species is known from the West Indies. 

Of the chitons, Meturoplax retro- 
jecta has been long associated with 
Galeolaria caespitosa. It was not pre- 
sent in the Portland sample, where 
instead small Poneroplax albida were 
found. P. albida was present at Portar- 
lington and Ricketts Point in Port 
Phillip Bay but not elsewhere on the 
open coast. Small Ischnochiton varie- 
gatus specimens occurred in the 
Ricketts Point sample. This is a com- 
mon species in very sheltered condi- 
tions within Port Phillip Bay. 

The bivalve Electroma georgiana 
appears to be a chance occurrence on 
Galeolaria. It is very common at- 
tached to brown algae and Zostera at 

Other animals present 

At Lome, a peculiar shrimp-like 
crustacean with translucent cylindrical 
abdominal section was found inside 
empty Galeolaria tubes. 

At Portarlington a small orange 
peanut worm (Sipunculoidea) is very 
common, together with the barnacle 
Ibla quadrivalvis, various polychaete 
worms and nemertines. Two species of 
foraminifera were present. Ibla quad- 
rivalvis was also found in the Shallow 
Inlet and Point Lonsdale samples, and 
at least two species of polychaetes 
were present in both. In addition, the 
Shallow Inlet sample contained one 
species of shelled barnacle, at least 
two species of ostracod and one of 

Foraminifera were present in the 
Clifton Springs, Ricketts Point and 
Point Lonsdale samples. Small crabs 
were noted in the samples from Shal- 
low Inlet and Portarlington. An ostra- 
cod and the small brown anemone 
Actinia tenebrosa occurred in the 
Ricketts Point sample. 


There have been very few studies 
of the cryptic and associated faunas of 
Galeolaria, and these refer only to the 
larger and more conspicuous species 
present. Bennett and Pope (1953) listed 
five molluscs as characteristic of the 
Galeolaria association along the Vic- 
torian coastline, and noted the pre- 
sence of a number of other animals. 
Kershaw (1958) gave a list of six mol- 
luscs associated with Galeolaria in re- 
lation to the general Tasmanian coast- 
line. Guiler (1959) examined a more 
restricted area in south-eastern Tas- 
mania, and listed six species from the 
Galeolaria association. Their results 
appear in Table 2. Of the nine species 
recorded from Tasmania, seven occur 
in Victorian samples. 

As a result of this study, it appears 
that Meturoplax retrojecta, Pseudo- 

November 'December 


Table 2 

</> oo 


Meturoplax retro jecta 
Sypharochiton maugeansis 
Montfortula rugosa 
Notoacmea alta 
?a tello Ida alticos ta ta 
Lepsiella vinos a 
L. reticulata 
Onchidella patelloides 
Mytilus edulus p/anu/atus 
Brach yd on tes ros tra tus 
Kellia austral is 

m a ■- > 

i= r- ro -C 

2 § E £ 

O CD CO d) 

> CD <« ^ 

C »_ 





X X 

Table 2. Previous records of molluscs 
among Galeolaria in Victoria and Tasmania. 

skenella depressa, Mytilus edulus 
planulatus and Kellia australis are 
characteristic of the cryptic fauna of 
Galeolaria on the central and western 
coasts of Victoria. Of these, M.e. planu- 
latus and K.australis occur in the Tas- 
manian lists, with Sypharochiton mau- 
geansis replacing M.retrojecta as the 
characteristic chiton. P. depressa is 
recorded from deeper water in Tas- 
mania (Ponder 1973), and more re- 
cently has been collected alive from 
Galeolaria at localities on the Tas- 
manian north coast (W. F. Ponder pers. 

Furthermore, the Victorian samples 
examined indicate that (i) the cryptic 
fauna becomes depauperate within 
Port Phillip Bay in a north and west 
direction, and (ii) the air-breathing 
species are restricted to the open 
coastline where perhaps the oxygen 
content of the water is higher and the 
sediment deposition is lower. 

Lastly, the authors agree whole- 
heartedly with the statement by En- 
dean, Kenny and Stephenson (1956) 
regarding Galeolaria: "Investigation of 
the ecology of the associates of such 
species is a task of sufficient com- 
plexity to warrant separate study." 


Bennett, T., and Pope, E. C. (1953). Intertidal zona- 
tion of the exposed rocky shores of Victoria, 
together with a rearrangement of the biogeo- 
graphical provinces of temperate Australian 
shores. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 4: 105-159. 

Burn R. (1963). Australian Runcinacea. Aust. 
Zool. 13:9-23. 

Dakin, W., Bennett, I., and Pope, E. (1952). Aus- 
tralian Seashores. Angus and Robertson, Sydney. 

Endean, R., Kenny, R., and Stephenson, W. (1956). 
The ecology and distribution of intertidal orga- 
nisms on the rocky shores of the Queensland 
mainland. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 7: 88- 

Guiler, E. R. (1959). Long term changes in inter- 
tidal zonation in Tasmania with special reference 
to the Mollusca. J. Malac. Soc. Aust. 1(3): 59-67. 

Hedley, C. (1915). Studies on Australian Mollusca, 
12. Proc. Linn. Soc. NSW 39: 695-755. 

Kershaw, R. C. (1958). Tasmanian intertidal Mol- 
lusca. 7. Malac. Soc. Aust. 1(2): 58-100. 

King, R. J., Black, J.H., and Ducker, S. C. (1971). 
Intertidal ecology of Port Phillip Bay with syste- 
matic list of plants and animals. Mem. Nat. Mus. 
Vic. 32: 92-128. 

Laseron. C. F. (1950). Review of the Rissoidae of 
New South Wales. Rec. Aust. Mus. 22: 257-287. 

Laseron. C. F. (1951). The New South Wales Pyra- 
midallidae and the genus Mathilda. Rec. Aust. 
Mus. 22: 298-334. 

Laseron, C. F. (1954). Revision of the Liotudae of 
New South Wales. Aust. Zool. 12: 1-25. 

Macpherson, J. H., and Gabriel, C. J. (1962). 
Marine Molluscs of Victoria. Melbourne Uni- 
versity Press. 475 pp. 

Ponder, W. F. (1973). Pseudoskenella depressa gen. 
et sp nov., an ectoparasite on Galeolaria. Malac. 
Rev. 6: 119-123. 

Author Index to 'The Victorian Naturalist' 1884-1976 

Compiled by J.A.Baines, 368 pages, now available from FNCV Sales Officer, $11.00; 
postage 80c within 50 kilos, $1.20 within Victoria, $2.00 Interstate. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

The Intertidal Crabs of Victoria 

An introduction, check list and key to adults 

by Geoff Wescott* 


After several early works on the 
shore crabs of Victoria (Fulton and 
Grant 1901, 1906a, 1906b; Ward 1929) 
very few studies were published until 
the compilation of species lists for 
Port Phillip Bay (Griffin and Yaldwyn 
1971) and Westernport Bay (Marine 
Study Group of Victoria 1971). This 
paper brings together the results of 
these papers and provides a key to the 
identification of Victorian shore crabs 
(brachyurans). A check list and some 
information on the general ecology of 
these crabs are also included. 

The true crabs, or Brachyura 
(brachys: short; oura: tail) are one 
major group (or section) of the Rep- 
tantia (walking) decapod (ten-legged) 
Crustacea. The other decapod groups 
are the crayfish and lobsters (Macrura) 
and the half crabs and hermit crabs 
(Anomura). Brachyurans can be re- 
cognised by the presence of five pairs 
of limbs, a fused head and thorax 
covered by a carapace, and a distinc- 
tive but reduced, recurved abdomen. 

Figure 1. The anomuran Lomis hirta or hairy 
stone crab (scale line 1 cm). 

Some anomurans such as Lomis hirta 
the hairy stone crab (Figure 1) can be 
mistaken for true crabs, but a limb 
count and check of the abdominal 
region will show that only four pairs 
of walking legs are visible, instead of 
five as in the true crabs. Only the true 
crabs (brachyurans) will be considered 
in this paper. 

Crabs always have a calcified cara- 
pace and a pair of stalked eyes which 
can be retracted into hollow orbits at 
the front of the carapace. Near the 
eyes are two pairs of short sensory 
antennae. The mouth is complex and 
bordered by six pairs of appendages, 
the outer three (the maxillipeds) be- 
ing modified thoracic appendages. The 
shape and structure of the maxillipeds 
are influenced by the habitat and eco- 
logy of the crab. The first pair of legs 
is modified as chelipeds (pincers or 
nippers) and they are usually larger 
in the male. The sexes are also separ- 
able by the shape of the abdominal 
flap on the underside of the crab. In 
the male the flap is narrow, while in 
the female it is broad (semi-circular in 
shape) and covers most of the under- 
side of the thorax. The female carries 
the eggs between this broad flap and 
the thorax on the modified abdominal 
appendages (pleopods). In the male 
only two pairs of abdominal appen- 
dages remain and these are used in 

The eggs of crabs hatch into a larval 
form known as a zoea. These larvae 
are free-floating (planktonic) and may 
moult several times, going through a 

*Department of Zoology, 
University of Melbourne. 



Figure 2. Eight common Victorian crabs (scale line 1cm). Left to right and upper to lower: 
Mictyris platycheles, M aero pht halm us latijrons, Litocheira bispinosa, Carcinus maenas, 
Nectocarcinus tuberculosus, N.integrifrons, Philyra laevis, Ozius truncatus. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Figure 3. The spider crab Halicarcinus oval us 

number of different stages, before they 
are deposited on shores as juvenile 

Crabs, like all other crustaceans, 
grow by a series of moults during 
which the carapace, legs, mouth ap- 
pendages and gills are cast off. This 
process is control! :d by hormones 
released from the central nervous 

Shore crabs breathe by means of 
gills which must remain moist for re- 
spiration to occur. The gills are found 
in the branchial chambers at the sides 
of the carapace, and are arranged in 
two series attached to the thoracic ap- 
pendages and to the walls of the 
branchial (gill) chamber. Further 
general information on life history, 
morphology and terminology, can be 
found in works by Rathbun (1918), 
Hale (1927), McNeill (1962) and Grif- 
fin (1970). More detailed information 
can be obtained from Waterman 
(1961) and Newell (1970). 

There are fonr major groups of 
crabs (Griffin 1970): 

(1) Oxystomata (pebble and box 
crabs) in which the mouth frame (the 
shape formed by the outer maxillipeds) 
is triangular (the frame is rectangular 
in other crabs); 

(2) Dromiacea (sponge crabs) in 

which the last pair oi' legs is folded 
over the back; 

(3) Oxyrhyncha (spider or masking 
crabs) which have round or oval cara- 
paces; and 

(4) Brachyrhyncha which have 
square or rectangular carapaces. Most 
species of crabs in the key arc mem- 
bers oi' the last two groups which 
include the families Portunidae (swim- 
ming crabs), Xanthidae (reef crabs), 
Ocypodidae (ghost and fiddler crabs), 
and Grapsidae (shore crabs). 

An Artificial Key to the 
Intertidal Crabs of Victoria 

This key to the identification of Vic- 
torian crabs has a number of limita- 
tions. Firstly, it is artificial. This means 
that the more obvious characters used 
to choose between alternatives are not 
necessarily those regarded by taxono- 
mists as important in distinguishing 
groups. A check list (with common 
names) is presented in Table 1. Species 
nomenclature follows Hale (1927) and 
Griffin and Yaldwyn (1971). 

Secondly, the word "intertidal" in- 
cludes any crab, dead or alive, which 
may be collected within the intertidal 
zone on Victorian shores. Therefore, 
the inclusion of a species in this key 
does not necessarily mean it inhabits 
the intertidal zone. 

Finally, this key is constructed from 
the records of the National Museum 
of Victoria, the species list given in 
Griffin and Yaldwyn (1971), the list 
provided by Marine Study Group of 
Victoria (1971), and collections made 
by the author (Wescott 1974, 1976). 
Four species in the check list (Table 1) 
have not been included in the key due 
to unavailability of study material. 
Hence, the key is only a preliminary 
version and is not complete. Addi- 
tional species found in Victoria should 
be brought to the attention of the 
National Museum of Victoria. 



t * 

Figure 4. Eight species of the Family Grapsidae (scale line 1cm). Left to right and upper to 
lower: Plagusia chabrus, Sesarma erythrodactyla, Leptograpsus variegatus, Leptograpsodes 
octodentatus, Cyclograpsus audouini, C. granulosus, Brachynotus spinosus, Paragrapsus 


The assistance of and consultation 
with Mr R.Howard, Dr M.J. Little John, 
Mr R.Miller, Mr T.O'Loughlin, Mr 
A.Robertson and Dr G.F.Watson is 

gratefully acknowledged by the author. 
Dr A.A.Martin read and cnticised the 
manuscript. I would also like to espe- 
cially thank Mr Russell Synnot for 
proof-reading and general assistance 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

with the manuscript. 

The author also thanks Prue Ven- 
ables for preparation of the illustra- 
tions incorporated in the key, Brian 
Pump for photographic assistance, and 
Lynne Rowe for typing the manu- 

script. Mr A.Neboiss of the National 
Museum of Victoria first suggested the 
idea of preparing this key. 

The author was supported during 
this research by a Commonwealth Post 
Graduate Research Award. 

A Check List of Victorian Brachyurans 

(53 species) 

Tribe: Dromiacea: 

Family Dromiidae: 

Petalomera lateralis Ridged sponge-crab. 

P.wilsoni Hairy sponge-crab. 

Dromidiopsis excavata Shaggy sponge-crab. 
*Cryptodromia octodentata Bristled 

Tribe: Oxystomata: 

Family Leucosiidae: 

Phylxia dentifrons Square nut-crab. 
Ebalia intermedia Smooth nut-crab. 
Philyra laevis Smooth pebble-crab. 
P.undecimspinosa Large pebble-crab. 
Merocryptus lambrijormis Rough nut-crab. 

Tribe: Brachygnatha 
Sub-tribe: Oxyrhyncha: 

Family Hymenosomatidae: 

Halicarcinus ovatus Three-pronged 

H.rostratus Beaked sea-spider. 

//. austral is Blunt-nosed sea-spider. 

Elamena unguijormis Triangle crab. 
Family Majidae: 

Paratymolus latipes Velvet crab. 

Naxia deflexifrons 

N. aurita Smooth seaweed-crab. 

N.tumida Little seaweed-crab. 

N.spinosa Spiny seaweed-crab. 

Eruma hispidum Shaggy seaweed-crab. 
*Notomithrax minor. 
*Leptomithrax gaimardi Great spider-crab. 

Gonatorhynchus tumidus Sea-toad. 

Sub-tribe: Brachyrhynca: 

Family Portunidae: 
Carcinus maenas. 

Nectocarcinus integrifrons Rock-crab. 
N. tuberculosa Rough rock-crab. 
Ovalipes australiensis Sand crab. 

Family Xanthidae: 
Actaea peroni Thorn-legged crab. 
Pilumnus acer Long-spined hairy-crab. 

P.monolifer Beaded hairy-crab. 
P.tomentosus Common hairy-crab. 
P.fissifrons Tasselled-crab. 
Hetero pilumnus fimbriatus Bearded crab. 
Pilumnopeus serratijrons Smooth-handed 

Ozius truncatus Reef crab. 
Family Goneplacidae: 

Litoeheira bispinosa Two-spined crab. 
Family Pinnotheridae: 
Pinnotheres pisum Swollen pea-crab. 
Family Grapsidak: 
Sesarma erythrodactyla. 
Leptograpsus variegatus Common 

Leptograpsodes octodentatus Burrowing 

Planes minutus Columbus crab. 
Cyclograpsus audouini Smooth shore-crab. 
C. granulosus Purple-mottled shore-crab. 
Paragrapsus quadridentatus Notched 

P. gaimardi Mottled shore-crab. 
P. laevis. 
H el ice leach i. 

Helograpsus haswellianus Mud crab. 
Plagusia chabrus Cleft-fronted shore-crab. 
Brachynotus spinosus Little shore-crab. 
Family Mictyridak: 

Mictryris platycheles Soldier crab. 
Family Octyfodidai:: 
M aero pht halm us latifrons Sentinel crab. 

"These species are not included in the key but have 
been recorded by Griffin and Yaldwyn (1971) and 
Powell (1974). 



Commensal in bivalve molluscs; body 
round; eyes small; poorly calcified cara- 
pace Pinnotheres pisum 

(Figure 174, Hale 1927; as P.subglobosa.) 

Free-living; body may be rounded but not 
poorly calcined (unless during moulting) 

Body semi-spherical and bright blue in 
colour; always walks forwards and in 
large groups; found only on sandy shores 

(see Fig. 2) Mictyris platycheles 

(Powell 1974, has studied the ecology of 

this species.) 

Body partly flattened dorso-ventrally (top 
to bottom); usually walks sideways 3 

3. Eyes on very long stalks which at rest lie 
parallel to front of carapace (Fig. 2 and 
Fig.5-A) Macro pht halm us latifrons 

Eyes not on pronounced stalks 4 

4. One distinct and very pointed notch on 

side of carapace (Fig. 2 and Fig.5-B) 

Litoeheira bispinosa 



If notch present, not as in Fig.5-B 5 

5. Distal (outermost) segment of last walk- 
ing leg flattened noticeably relative to 
other legs — an adaptation to swimming 
(Family Portunidae) 6 

Distal segment of last walking leg not 
flattened, and therefore not noticeably 
different from other legs 9 

6. Two large conspicuous spots to rear and 
sides of carapace; distal segment of last 

leg oval Ovalipes australiensis 

(Figure 148, Hale 1927; as O.bipustulatus.) 

No spots present on carapace, last leg 
flattened but narrow, not oval 7 

7. Carapace shaped as in Fig. 2 and Fig.5-C; 
pronounced notches on sides and front of 

carapace; carapace green in life 

Carcinus maenas 

Carapace generally quadrilateral, not as 
in Fig.5-C; frontal area may be lobed, but 
definitely not corrugated; brown-orange in 
life 8 

8. Tubercles (small, sharply defined eleva- 
tions of various shapes) present on an- 
terior of carapace giving a rough appear- 
ance; frontal region lobed as in Fig. 2 and 

Fig.5-D(i); found on muddy shores 

Nectocarcinus tuberculosus 

Tubercles absent, frontal region of cara- 
pace smooth and entire, or possibly with a 
very small notch (Fig. 2 and Fig.5-D(ii)); 

found on rocky shores 

Nectocarcinus integrijrons 

9. Mouth frame (shaded region, Fig.5-E) 
triangular and sharply pointed in front 
(Fig.5-E(i)); body generally pebble-shaped 
(Family Leucosiidae) 10 

Mouth frame quadrilateral (Fig.5-E(ii)) 

10. Dorsal surface of carapace lacking large 
protruberances although may be uneven; 
some protruberances may be present on 
sides of carapace 11 

Dorsal surface of carapace uneven, with 
large protruberances, two conical for- 
ward-directed prominences in mid-area of 
carapace, and one large protruberance in 
mid-rear area Merocryptus lambrijormis 
(Figure 202, Hale 1927.) 

11. Dorsal surface of carapace smooth and 
shiny; margins of carapace may possess 
small projections or bumps 12 

Dorsal surface of carapace reasonably 
smooth but always beaded or nodulate; 
never shiny (Genus Philyra) 13 

12. A pronounced "snout" with distinctive 
"eyeball-shaped" structures behind snout 
(Fig.5-F) Phylxia dentijrons 

No pronounced "snout" or "eyeball- 
shaped" structures; chelipeds (pincers) of 
males may be much larger than body 

Ebalia (Phlyxia) intermedia 

(Figure 199, Hale 1927; as P. intermedia.) 

13. Posterior margin of carapace rounded and 
without teeth (Fig.2) Philyra laevis 

Posterior margin of carapace with teeth 

Philyra undecimspinosa 

(Figure 196, Hale 1927; as P.murrayensis.) 

14. Last walking leg bearing pincers (Fig.5-G) 
permanently carried over back (used to 
hold camouflaging seaweed in place) 
(Family Dromiidae) 15 

Last walking leg without pincers and not 
permanently carried over back; if sea- 
weed present on dorsal surface of cara- 
pace then permanently attached to the 
crab and not held on by legs 17 

15. Transverse fringe of long hairs on front 

of dorsal surface of carapace 

Dromidiopsis excavata 

(Figure 106, Hale 1927.) 

Not as above 16 

16. Front of carapace with three teeth, the 
two outer ones being pointed (Fig.5-H(i)) 

Petalomera lateralis 

(Figure 108, Hale 1927.) 

Front of carapace with three teeth, the 
two outer ones being rounded (Fig.5-H(ii)) 

Petalomera wilsoni 

(Figure 111, Hale 1927.) 

17. Carapace triangular or subcircular 
(Fig.5-I(i)) 18 

Carapace square or quadrilateral (Fig. 
5-I(ii)) 28 

18. Dorsal surface of carapace flat and often 
with rostrum protruding over eyes and 
mouth (Family Hymenosomatidae) .. .. 19 

Not as above (Family Majidae) 22 

19. Carapace shaped like an equilateral tri- 

Elamena (Trigonoplax) unguijormis 

Carapace roughly circular in shape .. .. 20 

20. Rostrum three-toothed (Fig. 3 and Fig. 

5-J); margin of carapace angular 

Halicarcinus ovatus 

Rostrum simple (not three-toothed); mar- 
gin of carapace a smooth arc 21 

21. Rostrum long, narrow and acute (Fig.5-K) 

Halicarcinus rostratus 

(Figure 114, Hale 1927.) 

Rostrum blunt and as long as wide 

Halicarcinus australis 

(Figure 115, Hale 1927.) 

22. Note: In the following species it may be- 
come necessary to remove weed from the 
crab before considering a couplet. 

Carapace as in Fig.5-L .. 

Paratymolus latipes 

(Figure 119, Hale 1927.) 

Carapace not as above 23 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 




(i) (ii) 

F r\ 








jfr r\ 



ixi<-! yj 

F i r :,i stermu 


(i) (ii) 

Figure 5. Diagnostic characters A-U, referred to in key. 


23. Carapace with lateral spines (Genus 

Naxia) 24 

Carapace without lateral spines 27 

24. Second-last segment of leg (propodus) 
very wide and truncated at distal end. 
(Compare normal shape in Fig.5-M(i) 
with truncated propodus in Fig.5-M(ii)) 

Propodus only slightly widened, but de- 
finitely not truncated at distal end 26 

25. Spines and tubercles (defined in Couplet 
8) on carapace relatively sharp and long; 
no spines on the anterior part of the 
lateral margin of basal antennal segment 

Naxia spinosa 

(Figure 125, Hale 1927.) 

Spines and tubercles on carapace short 
and blunt relative to spines on anterior 
part of lateral margin of basal antennal 

segment Naxia tumida 

(Figure 126, Hale 1927.) 

(These two species are very difficult 
to tell apart and Hale 1927, p. 127, should 
be consulted.) 

26. Small spines on carapace above eyes 

(Fig.5-N) Naxia aurita 

(Figure 127, Hale 1927.) 

Not as above Naxia deflexifrons 

27. Eye stalks narrow; anterior external 
angle of basal joint of second antenna 
greatly produced and visible from above 

(Fig.5-0(i)) Eruma hispidium 

(Figure 130, Hale 1927.) 

Eye stalks thick, anterior external angle 
of basal joint of second antenna not 

visible from above (Fig.5-0(ii)) 

Gonatorhynchus timidus 

(Figure 129, Hale 1927.) 

28. Carapace shaped as in Fig.5-P, with front 
significantly broader than rear (Family 
Xanthidae) 29 

Carapace squarish, with front broad but 
rarely wider than rear (Family Grapsidae) 

(The ecology of a number of species of 
grapsid crabs has been studied by Griffin 
1971; zonation in Victoria has been dis- 
cussed by Synnot and Wescott 1976.) 

29. Carapace smooth and free of any cover- 
ing; distinctive black chelipeds (Fig. 2) .. .. 

Ozius truncatus 

Not as above 30 

30. Carapace and chelipeds covered with 
lobes and granulations Actaea peroni 

Not as above 31 

31. Carapace naked, or with only a few hairs 
Pilumnopeus serratifrons 

(Figure 162, Hale 1927; as Heteropanope 

Carapace covered with many long or short 
hairs 32 

32. Front and antero-lateral margins (be- 
tween front and side) of carapace covered 
by a very dense and long fringe of hairs; 
hair covering remainder of carapace; four 
rounded lobes on antero-lateral margins 

Heteropilumnus jimbriatus 

(Figure 170, Hale 1927.) 

Carapace without long fringe of hairs, 
and if possessing lobes then not rounded 
and not four in number (Genus Pilumnus) 

(Although nine species of Pilumnus occur 
in S.E. Australia (Griffin and Yaldwyn 
1971), this key will separate only four 
species found in the Port Phillip Bay Sur- 
vey of 1957-63, and one species found by 
the Marine Study Group of Victoria 1971 
in Westernport Bay.) 

33. Carapace covered with very short hairs, 
or pubescent 34 

Carapace covered in long hairs 35 

34. One to three tubercles (defined in Couplet 
8) on middle or rear antero-lateral lobes 

of carapace Pilumnus monilifer 

(Figure 163, Hale 1927.) 

Not as above Pilumnus fissijrons 

(Figure 164, Hale 1927.) 

35. Long hairs forming a sparse but obvious 

fringe just behind front of carapace 

Pilumnus acer 

(Figure 166, Hale 1927.) 

Not as above 36 

36. One to three spines near antero-lateral 
border of carapace, but no spines or 
tubercles (defined in Couplet 8) on the 
second-last and third-last segments of 

walking legs Pilumnus tomentosus 

(Figure 167, Hale 1927.) 

No spines on carapace, but many spines 
on second-last and third-last segments of 
walking legs Pilumnus etheridgi 

37. Front of carapace with several deep clefts 
(Fig. 4) Plagusia chabrus 

Front of carapace may contain teeth, but 
not with deep clefts 38 

38. Body highly vaulted (Fig.5-Q); one very 
small notch on side of carapace; very nar- 
row legs; found on muddy shores 

Helograpsus haswellianus 

(Figure 177, Hale 1927; as Helice haswel- 

Body not vaulted; may possess notches on 
side of carapace 39 

39. Dorsal surface of carapace ridged in a 
grille-like effect (Fig.5-R (i) or (ii) ) .. .. 40 

Dorsal surface of carapace smooth and 
relatively fiat 43 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

40. Body square, ridges confined to outer 
edges of carapace; greenish-black or iri- 
descent green (Fig.4) 

Sesarma erythrodactyla 

(Gunn 1972, reports the first Victorian 
occurrence of this species.) 

Body ellipsoid or oval, but never square; 
ridges cover most of dorsal surface .. .. 41 

41. Ridges very weak; found on drift weed 

Planes minutus 

(Figure 182; Hale 1927.) 

Ridging on carapace obvious; underside 
of crab often blue or purple in life; found 
on rocky reefs and headlands; moves very 
quickly when disturbed 42 

42. Ridges on carapace clearly delineated and 
in a regular parallel pattern; under-sur- 

face usually blue (Fig.4) 

Leptograpsus variegatus 

Ridges not parallel or in a regular pattern; 

under-surface usually purple (Fig.4) 

Leptograpsodes oetodentatus 

43. Margin of carapace entire, although may 
be microscopically beaded 44 

Margin of carapace conspicuously 
notched 45 

44. Tufts of hair present between bases of 
walking legs (Fig.5-S); carapace never 

purple-mottled (Fig.4) 

Cyclograpsus audouini 

No tufts of hair between bases of walking 
legs; often possessing a purple-mottled 
carapace (Fig.4) Cyclograpsus granulosus 

(Wescott 1974, 1976, has examined these 
species in detail.) 

45. Oblique hairy ridge on external surface 
of outer segment of feeding apparatus 
(third maxilliped) (Fig.5-T) 46 

Not as above (Fig. 4) 

Brachynotus spinosus 

46. Body thick, front abrupt (no over-hanging 
shelf); lateral margins sub-parallel to- 
wards rear of carapace, and usually with 
more than two distinct notches; slate-grey 
to olivaceous in life Helice leachi 

Body not thick; front of crab over-hang- 
ing, shelf-like; one or two notches on 
lateral margins 47 

47. One notch on side of carapace near front 

(Fig.4) Paragrapsus quadridentatus 

(Wescott 1974, has examined this species 
in detail.) 

Two notches on side of carapace 48 

48. The next separation is very difficult to 
make, especially for females. See Camp- 
bell and Griffin (1966) and Griffin (1969) 
for more information. 

First walking leg with felt on anterior sur- 
face of carpus, propodus, and dactyl 
(Fig.5-U(i)); suture between first and 
second sternites not marked by prominent 
ridge (Fig.5-U(ii)) .. .. Paragrapsus laevis 

First walking leg of male with felt only 
on edges of propodus and dactyl (possibly 
naked in female); first and second ster- 
nites of male separated by a distinct ridge 
(Fig.5-U(ii)) Paragrapsus gaimardi 


Campbell, B. M., and Griffin, D. J. G. (1966). The 
Australian Sesarminae (Crustacea: Brachyura): 
genera Helice, Helograpsus nov., Cyclograpsus 
and Paragrapsus. Mem. QUI. Mas. 14: 127-174. 

Fulton, S. W., and Grant, F. E. (1901). Some little 
known Victorian decapod Crustacea with de- 
scription of a new species. Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 
14: 55-64. 

Fulton, S. W., and Grant, F. E. (1906a). Some little 
known Victorian decapod Crustacea, with de- 
scriptions of new species — No. III. Proc. Roy. 
Soc. Vic. 19: 5-15. 

Fulton, S. W.. and Grant, F. E. (1906b). Census of 
the Victorian decapod Crustacea. Part I. {Brach- 
yura) Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic. 19: 16-20. 

Griffin, D. J. G, (1969). Notes on the taxonomy and 
zoogeography of the Tasmania grapsid and ocy- 
podid crabs (Crustacea Brachyura). Rec. Aust. 
Mus. 27: 323-347. 

Griffin. D. J. G. (1970). Australian crabs. Aust. 
Nat. Hist. 16: 304-308. 

Griffin, D. J. G. (1971). The ecological distribution 
of grapsid and ocypodid shore crabs (Crustacea: 
Brachyura). J. Animal licol. 40: 597-621. 

Griffin, D. J. G., and Yaldwyn, J. G. (1971). Port 
Phillip Bay Survey 2: Brachyura (Crustacea, 
Decapoda). Mem. Nat. Mus. Vic. 32: 43-63. 

Gunn, S. W. (1972). Victorian occurrence of the 
crab Sesarma erythrodactyla — Hess, 1865. Vic. 
Nat. 89: 76. 

Hale, H. M. (1927). The Crustaceans of South 
Australia. Part I: pp. 1-201. Govt. Printer, 

Marine Study Group of Victoria (1971). Littoral 
Survey of Westernport Bay. B. J. Smith (Ed.). 
Interim Report. 

McNeill, F. (1962). Crabs of the Sydney Fore- 
shores. Aust. Nat. Hist. 14: 37-43. 

Newell, R. C. (1970). Biology of Intertidal Animals. 
Paul Liek (Scientific Books) limited, London. 

Powell, II. K. (1974). The Life History and I co- 
logy of Mictyris platycheles Milne-Edwards 
(Decapoda: Mictyridae). Unpublished B.Sc. 
(Hons.) Thesis, Department of Zoology, Uni- 
versity of Melbourne. 

Rathbun, Mary J. (1918). The grapsoid crabs of 
America. Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. 97: 1-461. 

Synnot, R. N., and Wescott, G. C. (1976). Zona- 
tion at Flinders Reef, Westernport Bay. Vic. Nat. 
93: 97-107. 

Ward, M. (1929). Common shore crabs of Port 
Phillip. Vic. Nat. 46: 75-83. 

Waterman, T. H. (ed.) (1961). The Physiology of 
Crustacea. Parts T and IL Academic Press, New 
York and London. 

Wescott, G. C. (1974). A Preliminary Investigation 
into the Factors Limiting the Geographic and 
Vertical Distribution of Three Closely Related 
Species of Grapsid Crab (Crustacea: Brachyura). 
Unpublished B.Sc. (Hons.) Thesis, Department of 
Zoology, University of Melbourne. 

Wescott, G. C. (1976). An Analysis of Hybridisa- 
tion between Two Species of the genus Cyclo- 
grapsus (Crustacea: Brachyura) in South-Eastern 
Australia. Unpublished M.Sc. Thesis, Department 
of Zoology, University of Melbourne. 



Eucalypts along the Victorian Coast 

Notes on the Victorian ocean coastline with reference to 
aspect and distribution of Eucalypts 

by Pat Carol an* 

The following observations refer 
generally to a narrow zone bordering 
the ocean coast, most tree species 
named growing within about 200 
metres of high water level. This does 
not extend to areas which could be 
described as coastal in a broader sense, 
and much more information could be 
obtained with more detailed study of 
botany and soils. 


The Victorian coast extends about 
800 km east-west but only about 130 
km north-south so there is little dif- 
ference in average temperature. There 
is also a very low range in extreme 
temperatures. Examples are: 







Gabo Island 



Wilson's Promontory 



Cape Otway 



Cape Nelson 



Compared with: 







Average annual rainfall varies from 
1049 mm at Wilson's Promontory to 
610 mm at Queenscliff (and possibly 
lower along the 90 Mile Beach). In the 
west there is a pronounced rain de- 
ficiency in summer and even at Wil- 
son's Promontory the average winter 
rain is about three times the average 
summer - - hence the summer fire 
danger. At Gabo Island rainfall is still 
slightly heavier in the winter months. 
This is in contrast to the nearby 
NSW co9st and inland where rain- 
fall is fairly uniform through the year. 


The high rainfall areas of the Ot- 
ways and Wilson's Promontory are 
backed by high land and naturally 
support better quality forest, while the 
less likelihood of summer drought and 
winter frost in East Gippsland aid the 
penetration of sub-tropical east-coast 
type vegetation. However, the climate 
figures appear to have little relation to 
the variation in plant species in adjoin- 
ing areas. More detailed micro-climate 
information, including wind data, is 

Influence of Aspect 

There is a marked difference in 
vegetation on adjoining east and west 
facing coasts, far more than would be 
expected from the minor climatic dif- 
ferences. Eucalypts rarely attain tree 
size on any coast facing west or south- 

In southern Victoria southerly winds 
are dominant in summer and northerly 
in winter, but westerly winds are fre- 
quent in all seasons and, combined 
with hot afternoon sun in summer, 
have a strong dehydrating influence. 
Salt spray also inhibits plant growth 
on exposed west coasts (Parsons & 
Gill, 1968). 

But there are some puzzling factors 
about the higher quality vegetation on 
east faces. There should be a slightly 
higher rainfall on western slopes. 
Easterly winds may be strong and per- 
sistent in South Gippsland in summer 
(e.g. in the dry February of 1976) and 

*l/92 Were Street, Brighton. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

there is no reason why an easterly 
should not transport salt in spray. 
Wind pruning and dead leaf tips are 
common on exposed east faces. Great 
damage has been caused on the NSW 
coast by storms (e.g. in 1974) yet forest 
vegetation in many places extends to 
the beach. 

Effects of Calcareous formations 

There is another important factor 
which affects vegetation on much of 
the Victorian ocean coast as far east 
as Wilson's Promontory. This is the 
presence of calcareous sands and con- 
solidated dune limestone (often re- 
ferred to as aeolianite or calcarenite), 
of Pleistocene or Recent age, derived 
from the sands. These formations 
nearly always occur on west facings or 
exposed points which are partly ex- 
posed to the southwest, e.g. Point 
Roadknight at Anglesea, Point Lons- 
dale and the Nepean Peninsula. The 
only minor exception known is where 
the calcarenite covering the Cretaceous 
mudstone at Cape Otway extends east- 
wards to the mouth of the Parker 
River. Calcareous sands are dominant 
on the south and west coasts of Aus- 
tralia and quartzose sands on the east 
(Bird, 1968). 

Surface streams are absent from 
the permeable calcarenite, in contrast 
to the numerous small creeks and 
springs with sources close to the coast 
which are common in other areas, e.g. 
Otways, Waratah Bay. Calcarenite is 
not related to the underlying geo- 
logical formations which may be Ter- 
tiary, Mesozoic or Palaeozoic sedi- 

ments, basalt or granite. 

Even when fairly deep soils have 
developed on the calcarenite and there 
is good vegetation cover, including 
trees such as casuarina, leptospermum 
and banksia, there are no eucalypts, 
e.g. Nepean Peninsula. This is not the 
case in South and Western Australia 
where apparently more lime-tolerant 
species survive despite low rainfall, 
e.g. west of Port Lincoln, and near 
Portland. Eucalypts do grow on older 
limestone formations. 

Distribution of Eucalypt Species 

These notes refer to areas where 
species have been identified. Unfor- 
tunately there are many gaps. The 
East Gippsland coast is left for some- 
one better informed to describe as Fell 
(1972) has done for the Gippsland 
Lakes district. 

The areas are numbered 1 to 6 as 
shown on map. 

1. Portland Area (Sand dunes, cal- 
carenite, basalt. Rainfall about 700 mm 
per annum). 

Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. macro- 
carpa (Yellow Gum). At Nelson be- 
hind sand dunes near mouth of 
Glenelg River. 

E. diver si folia (Coast Gum). At Cape 
Nelson. Grows as dwarf mallee in 
dense coastal scrub to within about 
100 m of coast but about 30 m above 
sea level, and as small gum-barked tree 
in slightly more sheltered positions, on 
calcarenite with very thin soil cover. 
Extends over large areas and probably 
much more extensive before clearing. 

v\\\ Coastal Eucalypts 
ccc Calcareous Dunes or Calcarenite 



E.baxteri (Brown Stringybark). 
Mixed with E. diver si folia within 1 km 
of coast, still on calcarenite but with 
more soil cover. Bud opercula are ex- 
tremely warty suggesting affinity with 
E.alpina (Grampians Gum). E.nitida 
(Shining Peppermint) also occurs in 
this area but distance to coast is not 

E.goniocalyx (Bundy) (gum-barked). 
On cliff top overlooking Portland Bay, 
on basaltic soil. 

E.viminalis (Manna Gum) on Dut- 
ton Way between Portland and Narra- 
wong. This is further inland but on 
coastal plain with basalt outcropping. 

2. Port Campbell Area (Horizontal 
Tertiary Limestone forming undulat- 
ing plain above vertical cliffs. Rainfall 
about 700 mm). 

E.nitida and E.obliqua (Messmate 
Stringybark). Stunted trees in grey 
sand over limestone. 

E.ovata (Swamp Gum) and E.obli- 
qua. Slightly further inland. Better 
forest in sheltered valley round Port 

E.ovata and E.obliqua. At Loch Ard 

3. Cape Otway-Lorne (Mainly Cre- 
taceous Arkose, steep slopes, good soil 
when weathered. Rainfall over 1000 

E.kitsoniana (Bog Gum) near Blan- 
ket Bay. 

E.obliqua. A few survivors in cleared 
landscape at Apollo Bay. 

E.viminalis (gum barked) with 
E.obliqua near Separation Creek. 

E.ovata, E.aromaphloia (Scent- 
bark), E.obliqua. West of Jamieson 
River and common in many areas to 

E. globulus (Southern Blue Gum) 
(and/ or At Mt. Defiance 
Lookout and extending for about 20 
km along coast including very exposed 

E. sideroxylon (Red Ironbark). Big 
Hill area, east of Lome. This is an 
unusual habitat as they grow as tall 
trees in a high rainfall, east-facing 
sheltered site and on the Cretaceous 
formation in association with E. glo- 

4. Aireys Inlet-Torquay (Tertiary — 
sandy soils, partly gravel and ironstone 
capping. Rainfall about 600-900 mm). 

E. sideroxylon with E.ovata on cliff 
tops from Aireys Inlet to Urquhart's 

Dwarf E. sideroxylon, goniocalyx, 
baxteri, obliqua on cliff tops east of 
Anglesea. The distribution of E.bax- 
teri is interesting. It may occur in in- 
termediate localities but has not been 
noticed between the Portland and An- 
glesea districts. In latter area it ap- 
pears to hybridise with associated 
E.obliqua. E.obliqua is most ubiquitous 
of all species and so common that it is 
impossible to name all localities. 

E. sideroxylon forms almost pure 
low dry forest right to beach on east 
side of Point Addis and continues in- 
termittently to Torquay. 

E.leucoxylon (not seen since Nel- 
son) reappears near Jan Juc. 

5. Point Nepean-Waratah Bay (Rain- 
fall about 600-1000 mm). 

Eucalypts are rare or absent on cal- 
carenite, basalt and Cretaceous sedi- 
ments which mainly face southwest. 

E.viminalis. On sheltered sandy- 
alluvial foreshore at Inverloch. 

E.obliqua, ovata, radiata. In east 
facing sheltered pocket round Walker- 
ville. (Also wet gully vegetation with 
prosanthera and tree ferns extending 
to beach.) 

6. Wilson's Promontory (Granite — 
bare rock, gravel, sandy and peaty 
swamp soils. Rainfall over 1000 mm). 

This is such an interesting area that 
it needs fuller description. The fol- 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

lowing is a brief record of eucalypts 
near coast. 

E.obliqua, baxteri (re-appearing 
after long gap), radiata, kitsoniana, 
globulus (rare but very close to sea), 
cypellocarpa (Mountain Grey Gum) 
(only noticed at sheltered south end 
of Sealers Cove). The notable feature 
is that eucalypts grow on granite fac- 
ing west. 

In many areas man has destroyed or 
altered the natural environment by 
clearing, burning and bulldozing. The 
present craze to turn every road into 
a high speed highway is a threat to 
roadside vegetation which is often the 
only remnant of the original ecology. 
The position is further complicated by 
planting Australian species not native 
to an area, e.g. E.camaldulensis (River 
Red Gum) at Apollo Bay and E.vimi- 
nalis at Tidal River. It is therefore 
hoped that naturalists will record their 
own observations and do much more 
to arouse interest in preserving the 
natural habitat, especially among local 

In conclusion, two facts of plant 
ecology are stated: 

1. When plants occur in areas iso- 
lated by hundreds of kilometres from 
the same species, this is evidence of a 
suitable habitat now. This simple fact 
sometimes seems to be forgotten in 
speculation about climatic change. 

2. Plants may extend from a major 
area of typical habitat into nearby 
areas which may not be their normal 
habitat, if there is room, i.e. if com- 
petition from other plants does not 
keep them out. 

These statements may appear some- 
what contradictory but it is the appa- 
rent contradictions and unknown fac- 
tors which make ecology such an in- 
teresting subject. 


Bird, E. C. F. (1968). Coasts. Aust. Nat. Uni. Press, 

Fell, L. A. (1972). Ecology of Some Eucalypts of 

the Gippsland Lakes District. Vic. Nat. 89(1): 1 1. 
Parsons, R. F. (1966). Soils and Vegetation, Tidal 

River, Wilson's Promontory. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 

Parsons, R. F. & Gill, A. M. (1968). The Effects of 

Salt Spray on Coastal Vegetation at Wilson's 

Promontory, Victoria, Australia. Proc. R. Soc. 

Vict. 81: 1. 

Operculum of a Sand Snail 

In May 1976 among the shells on the 
beach at Edithvale, we found several 
seemingly new shells which, over many 
years, we had not noticed before. 

They were frail, ear-shaped, transpar- 
ent, honey-coloured and slightly pliable, 
20-25 millimetres long and 15-16 mm at 

The operculum and the 
snail it came from. 
Natural size. 

the widest part. Each looked like a 
miniature false ear shell, concave on one 
surface and convex on the other, the 
concavity being 1-2 mm up from a flat 
surface. Faint radial striations diverged 
from a once-coiled whorl near the wider 
end of the straight side towards the 
curved outer side. 

Dr Brian Smith recognised this as the 
operculum of the Conical Sand Snail 
Polinices conicus that produces the jelly 
blubber "sausage" containing hundreds 
of eggs seen as tiny white spots in the 
jelly. These sausages are common on the 

It is strange that there is no mention 
of this operculum in "Marine Molluscs 
of Victoria'' by MacPherson and 
Gabriel, where the shell of the sand 
snail is pictured and described. 

L. M. White, Canterbury 



Bush-peas of Victoria - genus Pultenaea No.2 

by M. G. CORRICK* 

The distribution of several Victorian 
Pultenaeas extends to coastal areas, but 
present records show that two are ex- 
clusively coastal. 

Habitats close to the sea are ex- 
tremely varied and often very harsh; 
many distinctive plant communities 
have evolved in response to these con- 
ditions and, because ol the adaptations 
necessary to cope with the differing 

environments, the dividing line be- 
tween communities is often very sharp. 
Small changes, such as the presence of 
a sheltering dune or a trickle of water 
soaking down a cliff may completely 
alter the vegetation around it. The 
two coastal Pultenaeas will never be 
found growing together in the same 
plant community. 

Pultenaea canaliculata 
F.Mueller in Trans.Roy.Vic.Inst.119 (1855) 

This species is usually found on 
sand dunes within sight of the ocean 
and is thus adapted to one of the most 
rigorous oi' the environments near the 
sea. In this situation it must endure 
salt-laden winds and loose, sandy soil 
which dries very rapidly. 

It is recorded from along the shore 
between Portsea and Cape Schank, 
from Corner Inlet and from a few 
areas in the extreme south west of the 
State. It also occurs in South Aus- 
tralia. Ferdinand von Mueller first de- 
scribed the species from plants col- 
lected by Charles Stuart at Encounter 
Bay in 1847. 

It is a still spreading shrub 1 to 2 
metres high, often forming dense 
mounds 3-4 metres across. Except for 
the petals and stamens it is covered 
with soft, silky, often golden hairs 


D 1 

' ■ 




S 1 




T y 

Known distribution of 

Pultenaea canaliculata and P.prohfera. 


which may give the whole plant a 
brown, velvety appearance. 

The leaves are 8-12 mm long, ob- 
lanceolate terete, channelled above; 
usually curved upwards and very 
hairy. The prominent stipules are 
3-4 mm long, hairy, slender, somewhat 
recurved from the stem and have a 
prominent mid vein. 

The calyx is hairy, the lobes taper 
to slender tips and the three lower 
ones are longer than the tube. The 
linear, concave bracteoles are attached 
at the base of the calyx tube; they are 
brown and hairy with a dark keel, and 
reach to about half-way up the calyx 

The flowers are axilliary and densely 
clustered at the tips of the branches 
among leaves with enlarged stipules. 
The ovary and base of the style are 

*7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn 

Fig. 3. a-e, Pultenaea canaliculata drawn from 
MEL 503760; a, habit; b, calyx and a bracteole 
(slightly larger); c, style and ovary; d, floral 
bract; e, leaf and stipule, f-j Pultenaea pro- 
Hi era drawn from MEL 503761; f, habit; g, 
calyx and bracteole (slightly larger); h, style 
and ovarv; i, floral bract; j, leaf and stipule, 
k, pod of Pultenaea pro! if era drawn from 
MEL 35267. 

Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

November / December 


covered with hairs. The pod does not 
extend far beyond the calyx lobes. 

Pultenaea canaliculata is apparently 
not very common and there is very 
little variation among the few Vic- 
torian collections examined. 

The other Pultenaea restricted to 
coastal areas is P.prolifera. This species 
is endemic in Victoria. It is almost co- 

extensive with P. canaliculata, but pre- 
fers situations a little further from the 
sea where the soil is still sandy but the 
environment less harsh. 

SPECIMENS EXAMINED included: South Aus- 
tralia — Encounter Bay, Stuart, 1847 (MEL 
503717, SYN-TYPE); Victoria — Wilson's Pro- 
montory, J. W. Audas and P. R. H. St. John, 
21.x. 1910 (MEL 503769); Portland, Nelson Bay, 
A. C. Beauglehole 39999, 1958 (MEL 503760); 
Apollo Bay, P. R. H. St. John, 28.xii.1909 (MEL 
503770); Corner Inlet, Wilhelmi, (MEL 503771). 

Pultenaea prolijera 
H. B. Williamson in Proc.Roy.Soc.Vic.35: 102 (1922) 

This species was described from 
plants collected in the Otway Forest 
by Master Willie Lucas in 1921.* It 
also occurs in Wilson's Promontory, 
Port Campbell and Mt. Richmond 
National Parks and several other areas 
west of Portland. 

P.prolifera is an erect shrub about 
1 to 1 i metres high, with long, slender, 
nodding branches. The alternate, lin- 
ear, almost terete leaves, 4-10 mm long 
are hispid with short hairs on the 
underside. The upper surface, if vis- 
ible, is glabrous. The stipules are 2-3 
mm long, brown and papery with a 
darker mid-rib. 

The flowers are solitary or in twos 
at the tips of very short branchlets. 
The large number of branchlets along 
each main stem make the shrub very 

*The type collection, now in the National Her- 
barium, Melbourne, was exhibited at the December 
1922 meeting of the Field Naturalists' Club of 
Victoria. (See Victorian Naturalist 39: 112 (1923)). 

showy at flowering time. The ovary is 
covered with silky hairs which extend 
halfway along the style. 

The calyx is hairy and the lobes are 
rather short and broad. The bracteoles, 
attached at the base of the calyx tube, 
are broad, brown and have no con- 
spicuous mid-rib; they are slightly 
hairy and have ciliate margins. The 
bracts are large, brown and papery, 
with a hairy mid-rib and ciliate mar- 
gins; some may have a central lobe. 

Pultenaea prolijera is recorded by 
Churchill & de Corona from Grid H in 
central Victoria, but this is apparently 
an error due to confusion between the 
location of Lower Bridgewater, near 
Portland, and Bridgewater, near 

SPECIMENS EXAMINED included: Victoria — 
Carlisle River, W. Lucas, x.1921 (MEL 503758. 
SYN-TYPE); near Kentbruck, M. G. Corrick 197, 
10. ix. 1967 (MEL 503761); Lower Bridgewater, nr 
Portland, K. J. Kittson, 18. ix. 1946 (MEL 503772); 
Mt. Richmond National Park, M. E. Phillips, 
26.x. 1963 (CBG 004817: MEL 503772): Wilson's 
Promontory, H. B. Williamson, x.1909 (MEL 

Preparing material for The Victorian Naturalist' 

When preparing material for publication, please have it typed with double line 
spacing and leave at least 3 cm (about H") clear margin at the left. Captions to 
figures should be typed on a separate page. Monochrome illustrations should be 
supplied, as it is costly and rarely satisfactory to reproduce from coloured material. 
If article is of a scientific nature, it is desirable to supply two copies of text matter. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

Habitat of the Swamp Antechinus in Victoria 

Distribution and Habitat requirements of the mainland 

Swamp Antechinus Antechinus minimus maritimus (Finlayson) 

(Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) 



The Swamp Antechinus, Antechinus 
minimus (Figure 1) is a terrestrial, 
nocturnal and insectivorous dasyurid 
marsupial with a life cycle typical of 
Australian Antechinus, i.e. it is 
monoestrous, and there is synchronous 
winter breeding and post-mating mor- 
tality of males (Wainer 1976). A. mini- 
mus minimus occurs on Tasmania and 
islands in Bass Strait while A.m. mari- 
timus is distributed on the Australian 
mainland. It can readily be distin- 
guished from other species of Ante- 
chinus by its long fore claws, short 
ears and tail, small eyes, and especially 
by the grizzled appearance and rough 
texture of the long pelage, which is 
leaden grey on the dorsum gradually 
becoming rufous on the flanks and 
lighter on the undersurface. 


Wakefield and Warneke (1963) 
listed only four mainland localities for 
A.m. maritimus, two in South Aus- 
tralia (Robe and Port MacDonnell), 

Figure 1: Mainland swamp antechinus, 
A. minimus maritimus. Photo: G.Lewis. 

and two in Victoria (Bridgewater 
Lakes and Portland). Wakefield and 
Warneke (1967) recorded three addi- 
tional Victorian specimens (from 
Anglesea, Wilson's Promontory and 
Glennie Island) thus greatly increasing 
the known range. Since then there 
have been numerous records from 
central Victorian coastal localities, 
especially the Otways. In addition 
there are two records from the Caster- 
ton district of SW Victoria, approxi- 
mately 60km from the coast (Figure 2). 
The present status of A.m. maritimus 
in South Australia is uncertain. Fin- 
layson's (1958) description of Phasco- 
gale swainsoni maritima {—Antechinus 
minimus maritimus) was based on 11 
specimens; only the holotype (from 
Port MacDonnell, SA) was lodged in 
the South Australian Museum. Three 
of the other ten specimens are from 
Heathmere, north of Portland, Vic- 
toria, but Wakefield and Warneke 
(1963) established from Finlayson's 
photographs that the Heathmere speci- 
mens are A.swainsonii. The remaining 
seven specimens are apparently from 
coastal SE South Australia and SW 
Victoria (Robe and Portland are the 
only localities given). However, it is 
clear from Finlayson's biometric data 
that some of these specimens are also 
A.swainsonii (Wakefield and Warneke 
1963); thus, the only certain record of 
A.m. maritimus in South Australia is 
the holotype from Port MacDonnell. 

Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne. 
f26 McCulloch Street, Nunawading. 



\ S.A. 








'7 A' 
18 20 

Figure 2: Locality records of 
A.min im u s m arit im u s : 

I. Robe; 2. Port MacDonnell; 3.14 km WNW of 
Casterton; 4.21 km SW of Casterton; 5. Bridge- 
water Lakes; 6. Bats Ridge Wildlife Reserve; 
7 Port Campbell; 8. Mouth of Gellibrand River; 
9. Moonlight Head; 10. Rotten Point; 11. Mouth 
Of Parker River; 12. Urquhart Bluff; 13.13 km 
from Anglesea; 14. Hutt Gully; 15. Mouth of 
Powlett River; 16.2 km E of Hamilton Creek, 
Venus Bay; 17. Cape Liptrap; IS. Great Glennie 
Island; 19. Tidal River Camp turn-off; 20.2 km 
along walking track to Waterloo Bay from Light- 
house track. 


The mainland Swamp Antechinus is 
restricted to dense, closed heath up to 
2 m high, and dense coastal tussock 
grassland and sedgeland. It never 
occurs in forest and there appears to 
be only one record from woodland 
(14 km SW of Casterton) in an area 
with an understorey of grass tussocks 
and heath (see below). Most specimens 
are taken near river outlets, where 
these plant associations predominate 
(e.g. Parker, Gellibrand, Anglesea and 
Powlett Rivers), but some are from 
heath not associated with rivers, at 
both coastal (e.g. Cape Liptrap, Glen- 
nie Tsland) and inland localities (e.g. 

Casterton district). 

The following are brief descriptions 
of the vegetation at five localities in 
Victoria where A.m.maritimus has 
been collected: 

A. Cape Liptrap 

Moderate to very dense vegetation 
in wet areas, but occasionally more 
exposed and relatively open lower 
heath. Usually occurs in areas not re- 
cently burnt; i.e. where there is an 
open ground vegetation but a very 
dense upper zone. Conspicuous plants 
include Leptospermum juniperinum, 
L.myrsinoides, L.laevigatum, Casua- 
rina paludosa, C.pusilla, Melaleuca 
squarrosa, Epacris spp, and Caloro- 
phus lateriflora (P. Cheal, pers. 

B. Parker River Inlet 

(a) Closed coastal heath of Lepto- 
spermum juniperinum, Leucopogon 
parviflorus and Banksia marginata, 
with an understorey of saw-sedges 
Gahnia seiberiana and Lepidosperma 
gladiatum, and grasses Imperata cylin- 
drica and Poa sp. 

(b) Tussock grassland of large Poa 
tussocks with occasional bracken 
Pteridium esculent um and weeds (e.g. 
Cirsium vulgar e). 

Figure 3. 

Tussock grassland 
and closed heath on 
Glennie Island. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

C. Glennie Island (Figure 3) 

(a) Closed coastal heath of Lepto- 
spermum laevigatum, Banksia mar- 
ginata, Correa alba, Olearia phlogo- 
pappa and Myoporum insulare up to 
2 m high. 

(b) Tussock grassland of Poa piri- 
formis often interspersed with small 
shrubs, especially Heliptcrum albicans, 
and many low succulent herbs, includ- 
ing Tctragonia implexicoma, Rha- 
godia hastata and Disphyma australe. 

D. 14 km WNW of Casterton (Fig.4) 
Swampy closed heath to 1 m high, 

surrounded by areas of Eucalyptus 
baxteri open forest. Predominant 
heathland plants include Lepto- 
spermum juniperinum, L.myrsinoides, 
Banksia marginata, some B.ornata, 
Epacris impressa, Dillwynia scricea, 
Calytrix tetragona, Xanthorrhoea aus- 
tralis, Melaleuca squarrosa and rushes 
and sedges. 

cephala (Button Grass) 1 ' (Green, 

The species is probably more wide- 
spread than is presently realised, parti- 
cularly in coastal Gippsland and in- 
land SW Victoria. However, the dis- 
tribution is patchy and is suggestive 
of fragmentation of a wider range, pre- 
sumably as a result of climatic change. 


Information on habitat preference 
at Cape Liptrap was kindly provided 
by Mr P. Cheal and at Casterton by 
the MSG-FNCV. Locality records 
were generously made available by the 
Fisheries and Wildlife Department of 
Victoria, and Joan Dixon, Curator oi' 
Vertebrates, National Museum, Vic- 

Many thanks are due to Angus 
Martin, Steve Morton and Robert 
Warneke for their helpful suggestions 
on the manuscript. 

E. 21 km SW of Casterton 

Swamp Gum Eucalyptus ovata 
woodland, with a grassy understorey, 
dense in places and to a height of 
0.5 m. Xanthorrhoea minor, sedges 
Ghania sp and rushes Juncus sp are 
abundant with occasional patches 
of Leptospermum juniperinum and 
Acacia verticillata. 


A.m.maritimus appears to be rare 
and restricted in distribution, occur- 
ring in lower SE South Australia, SW, 
and coastal Victoria at least as far east 
as Wilson's Promontory. It is found in 
treeless vegetation of the closed heath, 
tussock grassland and sedgeland struc- 
tural formations. Tt thus resembles the 
nominate sub-species whose preferred 
habitat is the treeless "wet sedgelands 
and associated drainage areas . . . and 
with few exceptions all specimens 
collected have been taken in or near 
to areas of Mesomelaena sphaero- 


Finlayson, H. H. (1958). A case of duplex con- 
vergent resemblance in Australian mammals, with 
a review of some aspects of the morphology of 
Phasogale (Antechinus) swainsoni Waterhouse 
and PhaSCOgale (Antechinus) flavipes Water- 
house. Proc. R. Soc. S. Aust. 81: 141-51. 

Green. R. II. (1972). The murids and small das- 
yurids in Tasmania. Parts 5. 6 and 7. Rec. Queen 
Vict. Mus., Launceston, Tas. 46: 1-34. 

Wainer, J. W. (1976). Studies of an island popula- 
tion of Antechinus minimus (Marsupialia: l)as- 
yuridae). Aust. Zool. 19: 1-7. 

Wakefield. N. A., and Warneke, K. M. (1963). 
Some revision in Antechinus (Marsupialia) — 1. 
Vict. Nat. 80: 194-219. 

Wakefield, N. A., and Warneke, R. M. (1967). 
Some revision m Antechinus (Marsupialia) — 2. 
Vict Nat. 84: 69-99. 

Figure 4. Damp heath 14km WNW of 




The Origin of Generic Names of the Victorian Flora 
Part 2 — Latin, Greek and Miscellaneous 

(Continued from page 184 in the last issue) 

Ophioglossum. Gk ophis, a snake; 
glossa, tongue; alluding to the shape of 
the fruiting spike. Our species, O. 
coriaceum, Austral Adder's-tongue, is 
very closely allied to the European A. 
lusitanicum. The genus belongs to the 
fern family Ophioglossaceae, to which 
it gives its name. Old English 'a nad- 
der' (cf. German Natter) became 'an 
adder', with loss of initial n by absorp- 
tion with the n of indefinite article, 
as happened also with 'orange'. 

Oplismenus. Gk hoplismenos, armed 
(from hoplon, armour; hoplismos, wea- 
pon); the spikelets of these grasses 
have awns, as though armed with 
spears. Our species, O. aemuius, Aus- 
tralian Basket-grass or Creeping Beard- 
grass, is a tropical grass that reaches 
Victoria only in far East Gippsland. 

*Opuntia. From the Gk name for a 
different plant that grew around the 
ancient town of Opos in Greece 
(latinized as Opuntus), the name mean- 
ing place of figs. A number of species 
of these cacti are found in Victoria, 
but only two are truly naturalized, 
known as Common and Drooping 
Prickly Pear respectively. Family Cac- 
taceae, of about 2,000 species, is 
wholly American, with the exception 
of the genus Rhipsalis, perhaps an 
introduction to the Old World. The 
prickly pear, a terrible pest in Queens- 
land until defeated by Cactoblastis, has 
no greater affinity to orchard pears 
than the so-called Woody Pear. 

Oreobolus. Gk oros (genitive oreos), 
mountain; bolos, a lump; because 
these plants are cushion-forming 
perennials of mountain bogs, native 

from Borneo through the intervening 
regions to the Andes. Victoria's two 
species are Alpine Tuft-rush and Fan 
Tuft-rush, of family Cyperaceae. 

Oreomyrrhis. Gk oros, oreos, moun- 
tain; myrrhis, the Gk name for a plant 
often identified as Myrrhis odorata, 
known in England as Sweet Cicely or 
Myrrh, as well as the true myrrh, the 
fragrant gum resin of Commiphora 
myrrha, a small East African and 
Arabian tree. Our f\\t species are 
known as different kinds of caraway, 
the true caraway being another um- 
belliferous species, Carum carvi. 

Orites. Gk oreites, a mountaineer 
(from oros, mountain); referring to 
the habitat of many species, including 
Victoria's O. lancifolia, Alpine Orites. 
This proteaceous genus would be en- 
demic in Australia (eight species), ex- 
cept for species in South America, i.e. 
one of the genera lending support to 
the theory of continental drift because 
of disjunct distribution. 

*Ornithopus. Gk ornis, ornithos, bird; 
pous, foot; the fruits resembling birds' 
claws. Victoria has two introduced 
species, Sand Bird's-foot and Serra- 
della, both native to the Mediterranean 
region; family Papilionaceae. Serra- 
della is an Italian word (the little 
serrated one), but the French (pied- 
d'oiseau) and German (Vogelfuss) 
names both mean bird's-foot. 

Orobanche. Greco-Latin name for the 
dodder, and probably also applied to 
the broom-rape (from Gk orobos, 
vetch or other leguminous plant; 
ankhe, strangle); one species being a 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

pest on bean crops in the Mediter- 
ranean region. Our introduced species 
is *0. minor, Lesser Broomrape, but 
O. australiana, indigenous to S.A. and 
W.A., has been doubtfully collected 
at Swan Hill. The genus gives its name 
to family Orobanchaceae. 

*Orthocarpus. Gk orthos, straight; 
karpos, fruit; from the small upright 
pods. Our two introduced species are 
Purple and Small Owl-clover. The 
genus belongs to family Scrophu- 

Orthoceras. Gk orthos, straight; keras, 
horn; from the resemblance of the fili- 
form erect lateral sepals to a pair of 
horns. O. strict um, Horned Orchid, is 
called Bird's-mouth Orchid in N.S.W., 
doubtless from the likeness of the 
labellum and column to the open beak 
of a baby bird awaiting food. The 
specific epithet also means straight or 
erect (in Latin). The generic name 
should be accented on the second syl- 
lable, and pronounced with soft c. 

(To be continued) 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

The Marine Biology and Entomology 
Group combines these two subjects be- 
cause there are not enough attending 
members to form two separate groups. 
However, most members have a general 
interest in both subjects though usually 
with a particular keenness for one. 

At meetings there is often a guest 
speaker who addresses the group on 
some aspect of marine biology or ento- 
mology. Sometimes, members give short 
talks, frequently illustrated with colour 
slides and followed by discussion, ques- 
tions and answers. Exhibits are always 
brought to meetings, explained and dis- 
cussed, and microscopes are often used. 

Marine biology 

There are several specialist marine 
talks during the year; they have re- 
cently included one on marine collecting 
in the Darwin area, and on deep-water 
dredging in Bass Strait. Several members 
have exhibited shells, echinoderms, tube- 
worms and microscopic marine life, the 
exhibits being spoken about in the meet- 
ings and a lively discussion ensuing. 

Some members have a special interest 
in various aspects of microscopy con- 
cerned with marine biology. One mem- 
ber is carrying out a project of radula 
slide projection of the limpet collection 

of the National Museum; a second is 
working on the identification of sea 
urchins from spine sections and on the 
photo-micrography of marine medusae. 
Observational studies are carried out on 
marine worms and littoral micro- 
organisms by a third member, and 
several are keen shell collectors. 


Entomology is covered in a general 
way by the Group, but some members 
are involved in special fields. One mem- 
ber is making a complete revision of all 
known species of a genus of beetles; 
another is carrying out a programme of 
tagging butterflies; some have been 
studying and mounting flies and wasps 
hatched out from galls, and one mem- 
ber has a particular interest in the food 
plants of insects. 

Meetings of the Marine Biology and 
Entomology Group are held on the first 
Monday of each month at the Confer- 
ence Room of the National Museum; 
enter through the gates from Latrobe 
Street where cars can be driven into the 
courtyard and parked free. Meetings 
commence at 8.00 p.m. We welcome 
members of all ages who are interested 
in either of these subjects. 



Reports of FNCV Meetings 

General Meeting 
Monday, 11 October 

Dr M.Joshi gave us a fascinating 
address on 'The Grand Canyon, USA". 
The Canyon is not only a great tourist 
attraction; to the geologist it is some- 
thing of a goldmine — but not literally, 
for the removal of rocks or fossils is 
absolutely prohibited. The Canyon is 
more than 5000 feet deep (almost a 
mile) and rocks ranging from 2500 mil- 
lion years ago are exposed on its walls. 
All members at the meeting were given 
a diagram showing a vertical section of 
the Canyon; we started at the bottom 
and moved up the Canyon with Dr Joshi, 
looking at the rocks as they became pro- 
gressively less ancient. Then slides 
showed the fantastic depth and forma- 
tions of the Canyon. 

Dr Joshi was thanked by Dr Barry 
Cooper, himself a geologist who has 
been to the Grand Canyon. Barry 
Cooper was over from Adelaide during 
South Australia's long week-end. Four 
years ago he was Vice-President of this 
Club (probably our youngest ever V-P) 
and we hope that, some day, he will be 
back in Melbourne for good and again 
with the FNCV. 

Our representative with NRCLV. 
Mr. All" Fairhall has resigned as our 
representative with the Natural Re- 
sources Conservation League. He has 
served for several years in that capacity, 
and this Club is very grateful for his 
work. A replacement is required. There 
are two meetings of representatives each 
year, usually for the whole day and 
sometimes at a countrv centre. 

Exhibits included only four items. 
Some basalt showed nodules that were 
presumed to be derived during weather- 
ing from iron in other minerals of the 
basalt. Another piece of rock carried the 
question "Amorphous calcite?" Both 
these specimens came from "The Island", 
Werribee Gorge. 

A sprig of 3 mm flowers of Tamarisk 
were under a 9x microscope which 
revealed the white trifid stigma above 
the fat red ovary. Some small red 
flowers (Centranthus?) under a micro- 
scope had only two stamens apiece, and 
onlv one of the stamens carried an 

Mr Jim Raines has retired to Torquay, 
will no longer be a regular attendant at 
FNCV meetings and will join the 
Geelong FNC. Jim Baines has served 

this Club in a variety of ways. 

At one time he was book sales officer, 
for several years he was secretary to the 
Natural History Medallion Committee, 
and he has compiled the index to recent 
'Naturalists'. In addition, he has made 
the Author Index of the entire 'Natura- 
list' over the 1100 issues since the first 
one in 1884. This was a huge undertak- 
ing, and he has continued to add to it 
afier each issue. Jim is also a contribu- 
tor to the journal, and botanists regu- 
larly follow his "Origin of Generic 
Names of Victorian Flora". Geelong's 
gain is our loss. 

General Meeting 
Monday, 8 November 

Mr. Brian Leonard spoke of the 
effects of fire on some Victorian animals. 
Mr Leonard had trapped animals in 
three areas before and after control 
burning by the Forestry Commission. As 
well as decrease in numbers, his findings 
revealed that there was little breeding 
for at least one season after a fire. More 
research is needed, but he estimated 
that it would take 4 to 5 years for an 
animal to build up its population to the 
former level. 

When on the same field project, 
Mr Leonard made an examination of 
organisms in leaf litter before and after 
fire. The creatures were mostly mites, 
springtails and larvae of various kinds. 
After fire there was 50% reduction of 
species and 70% fewer individuals, but 
the population had built up again within 
a year. 

Exhibits. Fruits of the NSW Turpen- 
tine Tree Syncarpia glomulifera showed 
an easy-to-recognise characteristic of the 
genus: several woody capsules firmly 
united to form a 2-3 cm ball, each cap- 
sule opening by 3 or 4 valves at the top. 
A loose head of deep pink flowers rather 
like Grevillea was a Proteacea species 
from South America — Embothrium 
coccineum; the Queensland Waratah 
used to be in that genus. A 50-70 cm 
stem of Dianella tasmanica, covered 
with masses of its hanging blue flowers, 
was from a garden-grown plant of 
26 years. 

A fat black caterpillar, 8-10 cm long 
was taken from a vertical hole in a lawn; 
it was thought to be the larva of a beetle, 
and an entomologist took it away to 
await results. 


Vict. Nat. Vol. 93 

(Continued from page 214) 


(A \Tth^t* rC 7^^^. attend any Group Meeting; no extra payment.) 
At the National Herbarium, The Domain, South Yarra, at 8.00 p.m. 

First Wednesday in the Month— Geology Group. 

No meeting in January. 

2 February— "Members' Night— Holiday Reminiscences." 

Third Wednesday in the Month— Microscopical Group 
No meeting in December. 
19 January— Members' Exhibits and Discussion. 

Second Thursday in the Month— Botany Group. 

9 December — "Members' Night." 
No meeting in January. 

10 February — "Members' Night." 

Each meeting includes a quarter-hour address for beginners. 

At the Conference Room, The Museum, Melbourne, at 8.00 p m 
First Monday in the Month— Marine Biology and Entomology Group. 
No meeting in January. 
7 February — "Members' Exhibits." 

At the Arthur Rylah Institute, Brown Street, Heidelberg, at 8.00 p.m. 
First Thursday in the Month— Mammal Survey Group. 
No meeting in January. 
3 February — Subject, details at Camp. 


All Members are invited to attend Group Excursions. 

Day Group — Third Thursday in the Month. 
No Excursions in December or January. 

Thursday, 17 February— Visit "Rossneath" Garden. Meet at Kew Gardens 11.30a.m, 
Mont Albert Tram No. 42 in Collins Street, alight at Kew Town Hall. 

Botany Group — All Members welcome. 

Saturday, 11 December — Mt Donna Buang. Leader Mr Ian Morrison. 

Saturday, 26 February — Coastal Vegetation. Leader Mrs B. Morrison. 


The Mammal Survey Group will hold a Christmas Camp at Club Terrace. 

From Boxing Day, 26th December, for eight days (or longer). 

(Details— Stephen Harwood, 53 1357.) 

29-31 January — Holiday Week-end Camp at Gelliondale. 

November/December 259 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

Established 1880 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 

and protect Australian fauna and flora. 

Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

His Excellency the Honorable Sir HENRY WINNEKE, K.C.M.G., O.B.E., Q.C. 

Key Honorary Office-Bearers, 1975-1976. 

Mrs. MARGARET CORRICK, 7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn, 3103. (857 9937.) 



Assistant Secretary (correspondence): Mr. GARNET JOHNSON, 20 Sydare Avenue, 

Chadstone, 3148. (56 3227.) 
Treasurer - Subscription Secretary: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Rd., East 

Malvern, 3145. (2112427.) 
Editor: Miss M. J. LESTER, 4/210 Domain Road, South Yarra, 3141. (26 1967.) 
Librarian: Mr. J. MARTINDALE, c/o National Herbarium, The Domain, South 

Excursion Secretary: Miss M. ALLENDER, 19 Hawthorn Avenue, Caulfield, 3161. 

(527 2749.) 
Sales Officer: Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3135. (21 1 2427.) 
Archives Officer: Mr. CALLANAN, 29 Reynards St., Coburg, 3058. Tel. 36 0587. 

Group Secretaries 
Botany: Mrs. RUTH ANDERS, 7 Barrington Drive, Ashwood, 3137. (25 3816.) 
Day Group: Miss D. M. BELL, 17 Tower Street, Mont Albert, 3127. (89 2850.) 
Field Survey: R. D. SANDELL, 39 Rubens Gve., Canterbury, 3126. (83 8009) 
Geology: Mr. T. SAULT. 
Mammal Survey: Mr. STEPHEN HARWOOD, 5 Prentice Street, Elsternwick, 3185. 

(53 1357) 
Microscopical: Mr. M. H. MEYER, 36 Milroy St., East Brighton. (96 3268.) 


Membership of the F.N.C.V. is open to any person interested in natural history. 
The Victorian Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and 
lending library is available and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the 
several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Metropolitan . . 

Joint Metropolitan . . 
Joint Retired Members 
Country Subscribers, and Ret 
Joint Country . . 


Subscriptions to Vict. Nat. . 
Overseas Subscription 
Junior with "Naturalist" 
Individual Magazines 

Rates of Subscriptions for 1975 

red Persons over 65 











All subscriptions should be made payable to the Field Naturalist Club of Victoria and posted to 
the Subscription Secretary.